Chess is an ancient game that has existed for centuries. With roots dating all the way back to India in the seventh century, chess has acquired a long and rich history. In current times, this complex board game is one of the most popular games across the globe. It requires creativity, strategy, foresight, and other skills, and chess masters have some of the highest IQs in the world, making the game synonymous with high intelligence and rapid cognitive functioning.
With such a long-standing history and strong intellectual implications, it is no surprise that chess can reap financial benefits for players with talent in the game. For instance, the winner of the International Chess Federation World Championship receives over 1 million dollars, and master chess players can earn even more from sponsorships.
Students with a passion for the game and experience playing in competitive settings can even use their chess skills to pursue higher education. For instance, there are chess scholarships that exist to make college more affordable for chess players, whether they are high schoolers, undergraduates, or even graduate students.
You may get a scholarship for joining a college chess team or for winning a regional chess tournament. You might also just apply for scholarships geared toward chess players. Whatever the case, there are college chess scholarships available to chess players so that higher education can be more affordable.
Getting a scholarship for chess will vary between applications; however, the first step toward getting a scholarship for chess is of course to be a chess player. You can even increase your chances of winning a scholarship for chess by demonstrating your passion and skill through chess competitions, which can also get you tournament based awards. Not only will this make you a stronger applicant, but you may even pique the interest of a collegiate chess coach.
The application process is different for every scholarship as well, but one common application requirement is an essay. Chess scholarships may ask applicants to write about something like their chess-playing experiences or how chess is important to them. If this is the case, begin writing your essay as soon as possible so that you have ample time to edit and submit it.
You can also check out your school's financial aid office to find out about annual college scholarship disbursement programs.
Bold.org recognizes the challenge and value of playing chess and offers several chess scholarships for players to apply for. Read the list below to see exclusive chess scholarships that can't be found anywhere else, and continue checking the Bold.org scholarships page to see new scholarships added daily.
Yes, playing chess can positively influence your college application. It showcases critical thinking, strategic planning, and problem-solving skills, all of which are valued by admissions committees. If chess is significant in your life, highlighting it in your application can underscore your unique strengths and interests.
There are many colleges that offer scholarships for chess, and as you apply to colleges, you should conduct research to see if your schools of choice have options for you. This could include a quick search on the internet and/or a conversation with your high school college counselor.
Similarly, if you have already been accepted to an accredited institution, you can reach out to your school's financial aid office, or even the chess coach to see what options await you.
Below is a list of colleges offering chess scholarships that you may be interested in researching or applying to:
If you play chess, be sure to check colleges that offer any annual college scholarship disbursements, four year chess scholarships, or a single semester chess scholarship starting in either the spring, summer, or fall.
Like athletic scholarships, scholarships for chess can be extremely competitive. They are oftentimes rooted in competitions and chess teams are more likely to be awarded to players with a high level of skill.
However, chess scholarships are generally only open to chess players, so your chances of winning one may increase because of the small applicant pool. In other words, if you are a chess player who does not have much competitive experience, you may have a decent chance of winning a scholarship open to players of all levels because there are fewer applicants for this type of scholarship. By contrast, you are less likely to win a scholarship open to more competitive players.
If you are a competitive chess player with experience in chess championships and chess team-organized events, you will have a good chance of winning scholarships open to all chess players, but may have a lower chance for scholarships with an applicant pool of other competitive chess players.
In general, chess scholarships have a small but competitive group of applicants, so the more experience and skill you have in the game, the more likely you are to be awarded a scholarship for chess.
There is no set time for students to begin applying for scholarships, but a good rule of thumb is that it is best to begin applying earlier rather than later. In fact, the United States Federal Student Aid Office recommends that students begin looking for scholarships as early as the summer before their senior year of high school, and Bold.org has scholarships that students can apply for when they are as young as fourteen years old.
Scholarship eligibility varies between scholarships, so it is important to read the entire scholarship description before applying. Some scholarships may have grade level requirements, while others may require that applicants be of a specific ethnicity or live in a specific location.
The scholarship application process also varies between scholarships. Depending on the type of scholarship, you may be asked to submit an art portfolio, a school transcript, or even a letter of recommendation. One common requirement that many scholarships have is an essay. If this is the case, be sure to begin writing your scholarship essay early on in order to ensure that you have adequate time for editing.
Below is a list of only some chess tournaments, championships, associations and organizations offered around the world.
Chess Associations and Community Foundations and Other Organizations:
There are indeed chess scholarships available for students to apply to. Not only can these scholarships be funded by independent groups and individuals, but they can also be special merit scholarships given by universities to students who play chess. As you go about finding chess scholarships, consider using a search engine like Bold.org or, if you are in high school or are just beginning to apply to universities, consider checking out colleges offering chess scholarships.
While each chess scholarship will have its own criteria, chess scholarships are generally financial aid freely awarded to chess players to help them afford higher education. These can range from full-ride four-year chess scholarships to a semester chess scholarship starting at a few hundred dollars. Chess scholarships can be awarded to students joining university chess teams in a manner similar to athletic scholarships, or they can be awarded to individual chess players through independent scholarship parties.
It is definitely possible to get a chess scholarship. However, the criteria required for applicants can vary from scholarship to scholarship. Some chess scholarships may be for those playing college chess on a chess team while others may be for students that are part of specific chess associations like the Florida Chess Association or the Kentucky Chess Association.