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Video Game Association Adds Esports Scholarship to Roster

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The foundation arm of the Entertainment Software Association recently announced a new esports scholarship specifically for women and minority students. The deadline to apply is March 2, 2020.

ESA serves as an advocate and lobbyist for the video game industry. Since its inception 20 years ago, the ESA Foundation has awarded almost 400 scholarships to women and minority students pursuing degrees leading to careers in the industry. That includes one for people studying computer and video game arts and another for those serving LGBTQ+ communities. Along with the funding, recipients are invited to meet game developers, attend educational sessions and meet industry leaders at big events, including E3, a major video gaming trade show in Los Angeles.

The newest award will go to students competing on an esports team at an accredited four-year institution in the United States. Although members of the National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE) have distributed $16 million in esports college scholarships since its founding in 2016, women and minority students account for a low percentage of recipients, according to the ESA.

To qualify for the new scholarship, candidates must be female and/or a member of a minority group and competing or committed to competing on a college esports team or club by fall 2020. The program is open to any high school senior or college freshman, sophomore or junior who has submitted a 2020-2021 FAFSA application. He or she must be a U.S. citizen and enrolled as a full-timer at any undergraduate program in a four-year school.

Up to 30 awards of $3,000 each are given annually across all three scholarship categories; 15 to graduating high school seniors and 15 to current college students.

"We're excited to expand our scholarship offering this year to include underrepresented students passionate about esports, which has quickly become one of the most popular forms of entertainment," said Anastasia Staten, the ESA Foundation's executive director, in a statement. She added, "It's also important that aspiring game creators get to tell their unique stories in ever-more-creative ways."

Applications for all scholarships close March 2, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific time. Applicants will be notified of selection results by mid-June 2020, and funds will be disbursed by August 2020.

More information is available on the ESA Foundation scholars website.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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