Video Game Player & Game Design College Scholarships

Take Your Hobby to the Next Level

Game design and development is exploding in the computer technology sector, so schools are in heavy competition launching the latest programs to attract top talent. If you’re interested in game design and development, there has never been a better time to break in to the business – the growing popularity of gaming points to an era of plentiful educational opportunities.

Game designers and developers come to the field following years of interest and participation in the past-time. Many students already have some experience engaging in hobby game design, and possess a solid understanding of the technology that drives modern games. Professionals typically work in studios that produce games and interactive software. Because game design and development innovators constantly re-define the cutting edge of the industry, landing jobs is ultra-competitive. The graduates with the most impressive educational resumes are quickly snatched up by notable studios.

To realize their design dreams, college students rely on financial aid from a range of sources.  Game developers draw from career-specific scholarships initiated by corporations, government agencies and a host of technology philanthropists.

Like game developers, competitive video game players playing games like League of Legends have scholarship options available to them.

video game scholarships


Emagination Game Design exists to give high school “gamers” the chance to take part in an intensive summer game design educational program. Youth designers even get the chance to show off their creations to professional game developers. College bound game designers and developers benefit from Emagination’s Rick Goodman Scholarship Program. Talented and motivated students pursuing game design credentials earn tuition scholarships from the Goodman Program.

Robert Morris University is a small private college near Chicago which launched an athletic scholarship for video game players in late 2014.

Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) has launched one of the most respected Game Design and Development programs in the U.S. RIT has caught on to the momentum generated by gamers and realized that are already creating their own independent games. The school’s Masters of Science in Game Design and Development departs from traditional curricula, sending ripples through the technical college community. The program offers scholarships to academically talented individuals who are fluent in game design.

The summer seminar program on video game design hosted by University of Southern California (USC) gives game designers an opportunity to access the latest developments within the video game industry. Students compete for USC Interactive Entertainment Summer Camp Scholarships by writing essays detailing their interests and aptitudes in game design and development. Applications require letters of recommendation from faculty and teachers.

Female gamers are under-represented in the field, so Southern Methodist University – Guildhall (SMU) launched a scholarship program benefiting women enrolled in game design programs. The Game Industry Scholarship for Women, offered in partnership with, provides educational funding for technology-oriented female college students. Applicants demonstrate a talent for game design, and increase their chances of winning by submitting essays articulating the contributions they hope to make to the gaming industry. Scholarships are valued up to the total outstanding tuition balance owed, after other financial aid has been applied.

The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) offers annual scholarships for students attending the Game Developers Conference. Qualified applicants are full-time students enrolled in game design programs and student members of the IGDA. Important Notice: IGDA has expanded its stable of scholarships to include awards aimed at several cutting-edge industry conferences. Destinations for scholarship winners include China, Tokyo and England.

The University of Advancing Technology offers the following scholarships:

  • Thinking Scholarships: UAT Thinking Scholarships recognize and honor students whose original works and ideas aid the University’s efforts to  elevate critical thinking.
  • Mission-Driven Scholarships: Mission-Driven Scholarships help UAT students uphold and embody the tech-driven mission of the University.
  • Financial Need Scholarships: Financial Need Scholarships are designed to alleviate the financial constraints of attending college.

Other recent UAT Scholarships include the following – check with campus financial aid administrators for up-to-the-minute information about available programs, as scholarships change based on funding:

  • Advancing Technology Awards go to students showing contributions to their field of study and completed works.  Minimum GPA standards of 3.0 are required to compete for the $750 awards.
  • The George Throp Memorial Scholarship recognizes incoming freshmen students with outstanding academics and extracurricular involvement. Awards are valued at up to $1500 and are renewable.
  • The Women in Technology Scholarship is designed to support gender equity in technology industries like game development and design.   Talented female design students earn up to $1000 each academic year.
  • Karrlin Field Memorial Scholarships are awarded to women pursuing credentials in game design and development.  Preference for landing awards is granted to designers who emulate Karrlin Field, a former game design student who died from cystic fibrosis. Scholarships are valued at up to $2000 each.

Microsoft gives female game developers a leg-up with scholarships that allow them to attend major annual gaming conferences, like the Serious Games Summit. Female students enrolled in game design and development programs are eligible to compete for conference enrollment fee waivers.


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