Harrisburg University is a private university located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Each year, 22 varsity esports players receive a full-tuition scholarship including housing. HU became the first school to offer full-ride scholarships towards their esports program. When applying, applicants must complete a normal application alongside an esports application. Applications to Harrisburg University are automatically assessed for academic scholarships but once they make the varsity team, their scholarships will be updated. Harrisburg University is known for its varsity esports team, "The HU Storm." The team embodies working together, engagement, and ferocity. In 2019, they won ESPN's "Collegiate Esports Championship." They host one of the largest esports events called "HUE Invitational" in which 64 esports teams compete for a prize of $50,000. Harrisburg University takes pride in their esports team, and believe it's a way to gain professional knowledge regarding the esports industry and achieve success.
New England College is a private college located in Henniker, New Hampshire. Students who have met academic requirements for esports will have scholarship aid available to them. The scholarships can range up to $22,000 and up, which depends on the academic achievements and GPAs of students. New England College's esports program is available to all students and can be an opportunity to learn leadership skills, communication skills, and determination. As the program is open to all students, it allows them to form relationships with one another, just like any other sports.
NEC has a large variety of games they play including CS:GO, League of Legends, Overwatch, Super Smash Bros, and more. The esports program closely works with the "Game and Digital Media Design" program. NEC believes esports can bring students on a path to further professional development. This includes game theory, game design, and other related careers in the industry. Overall, NEC strongly encourages students to pursue their esports interests and help them further develop skills to be successful in the future.
Kansas Wesleyan University is a private college located in Salina, Kansas. KWU is a member of the National Association of Collegiate eSports. Their esports scholarships range from $5,000-$20,000. Their esports team competes in League of Legends, Rocket League, Overwatch, and Hearthstone. But the KWU esports team primarily competes in League of Legends. Their esports team has their own room which also includes gaming amenities and PCs. This room allows students to be a part of a favorable environment that hones their gaming skills.
To qualify for their scholarship, applicants must be high school seniors who are experienced players in "League of Legends." Players should be ranked in the range of Gold to Challenger. Ideal applicants must have a strong work ethic, communication skills, and leadership skills. KWU eSports strives to create a home for students who may potentially build meaningful relationships and friendships.
Hawaii Pacific University is a private university located in Honolulu, Hawaii. Gamers who are qualified may earn scholarships valued from $1,000-$6,000 annually. To be eligible for their scholarship, applicants must submit an admissions application alongside an esports scholarship in order to be considered. HPU's esports scholarships are awarded to students interested in competing in the College League of Legends season and joining their esports team.
The scholarships specialize in League of Legends student athletes. To accommodate the esports team, HPU has a state of the art esports arena which is approximately 3,000 square feet. The arena has given League of Legends players the opportunity and experience with League Unlocked. League Unlocked has over 100 skins, bonus rewards for players, and unlocks all champions. Hawaii Pacific University prides itself on the multiple scholarship opportunities they have for their esports program.
Southwestern College is a private college in Winfield, Kansas. They offer grants up to $5,000 for membership as "competitors" or "participants." These grants are annual and may be renewable. Participants are required to attend all esports events/activities, manage streaming, help managing events, and overall helping develop the team. Participants also conduct an analysis of game choices and players alongside helping to grow the esports events. They eventually work up to be a "competitor." Competitors gain early access to computers and have a vote in which gaming softwares should be purchased for the esports center.
All recipients of the grant are required to maintain a GPA of 2.0. To be eligible for the scholarship, applicants must submit the application form and first be admitted to the university to be considered for the "competitor" or "participant" positions. Students may be a part of any major to be considered for the grant. Southwestern strives to create a place where students can compete with one another while simultaneously enjoying video games.
Becker College is located in Worcester, Massachusetts. They offer the "Path to Pro Apex Legends" scholarship which is worth up to $5,000. Becker College teamed up with Team Genji and Helix Esports to launch this scholarship. To be eligible for the scholarship, high school juniors and seniors should register with Team Genji. From there on forward, players have the opportunity to improve their chances of earning the scholarship as they will be able to attend the Helix Esports Apex Legends Combine Tournament. At this tournament, players will be evaluated by Becker College staff and Team Genji's analytics platform. Finalists from the tournament will be encouraged and invited to apply to Becker College. In case interested players are unable to attend the tournament or are underclassmen, signing up with Team Genji will qualify them for eligibility for any future esports scholarships at Becker College. Becker College emphasizes high school recruiting and believes that there is a vast amount of talent to recruit.
The University of California Irvine will award students $2,500 for their "Pokimane Scholarship." This scholarship is merit-based and will begin in 2022. During the student's time at UC Irvine, there is not any limit on how many times they may earn this scholarship. When applying for the scholarship, students need to submit: their application, official transcript, and FAFSA form. As this is a merit scholarship, students will need to have a minimum of a 3.4 GPA. The scholarship is named after the popular gamer "Pokimane" who donated $50,000 towards UC Irvine's esports scholarships.
UC Irvine is the first public university to make an esports program and is labeled as one of the world's best programs for this. UC Irvine also has a computer game science major that complements its thriving esports program. UC Irvine pushes students to achieve their academic and esports ventures.
Maryville University is a private institution located in St. Louis, Missouri. They have the "Maryville University Esports Participation Award" that awards $2,000. Maryville has an esports club that provides players with a fun and competitive environment for online gaming. In order to apply and be eligible for this scholarship, applicants must be freshmen with a high school diploma. They will also need a minimum of 2.5 GPA. Applicants must also be eligible for the tryouts, in which they must know how to play: CS: GO, Hearthstone, League of Legends, Overwatch, and Heroes of the Storm.
Maryville University has established themselves in esports as they are 3 time National Champions in League of Legends. They have experienced coaches/staff for their teams who are dedicated to the teams and growth of players in esports. Maryville University provides an enjoyable online gaming environment with the help and guidance of some of the best players in the country.
Stephens College is a private, all women's school located in Columbia, Missouri. They are the home to the first all-women esports varsity team. Stephens College is a member of the National Association of Collegiate eSports. Students have the chance to receive the "Stephens College eSports Scholarship for Women" which awards up to $2,000. When applying for the school, these are the requirements: personal statement, FAFSA forms, official transcripts, and essay. Applicants will also be required to send in their ACT/SAT scores alongside their preferred gaming roles. There will also be a live tryout to gain membership on their eSports team.
Students must be accepted into the school before being eligible to apply for the scholarship and get recruited for the team. The game "Overwatch" is what initially created the eSports team at Stephens. Students were attracted to this game as it represents strong and diverse female leads.
The University of Utah is a public university located in Salt Lake City, Utah. Members of the esports team will receive an annual $1,000 scholarship. The team competes in games such as Overwatch, League of Legends, Hearthstone, and Rocket League. The team consists of competitive players who are passionate about gaming and have developed their skills throughout the years. The varsity team competes with club teams all over the country and other esports scholarship programs. Utah's esports program is sponsored by "The U's Entertainment Arts & Engineering" video gaming development program. This program is nationally recognized and ranked as the number one video game design program.
The selection process to make the varsity team is selective. It has been competitive in the past as 200 students have tried out in the past but only 33 have made the varsity team. Students participating in the teams are well-rounded individuals and ambassadors for the school.
Colleges depend on individuals and this will vary depending on what a prospective student is looking for. There are different factors students must take into consideration such as academic rigor, emphasis on esports, esports varsity team, location, financial aid, and scholarships. After assessing these factors, applicants can make a better decision on what they feel is the best fit for them. No esports college is considered the "best" but rather what a student wants to get out of their college experience.
To receive an esports scholarship, applicants must be advanced players in their respective games. Make sure to have all of your statistics ready. There also may be live tryouts, so applicants should be prepared for that. Applicants should look out for scholarships on scholarship websites and university websites. Before applying, it is in the best interest of the applicant to ensure their quality. When applying, submit all required documents to ensure a higher probability of securing a scholarship.
Esports is a growing industry, and the number of scholarships that schools are offering has increased in the past few years. For the most updated scholarships, prospective students should visit scholarship websites before applying for universities. Currently, some of the schools offering gaming scholarships are:
All colleges who have esports are members of the National Association of Collegiate eSports. The list has been growing every year, and currently, 170+ schools are a part of it. NACE advocates for esports and helps develop esports nationally. They provide resources, tools, and structures to move esports into the varsity space. NACE also provides scholarships, aid, and holds an annual national convention. An increasing number of schools have been including esports to their schools every year.