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Last updated on July 8, 2024

The Best Esports Scholarships with Upcoming Deadlines in 2024

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19 SCHOLARSHIPS
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  1. Nintendo Super Fan Scholarship

    Funded by
    Bold.org
    This scholarship aims to support students who have been impacted by the world of Nintendo as they pursue higher education.
    All students are eligible
    Amount:$500
    Deadline is Approaching! 20 days left
    One Click Apply
    1
  2. Great Games No-Essay Scholarship

    Funded by
    Bold.org
    This scholarship seeks to support students who love playing games and exploring new opportunities.
    All students are eligible
    Amount:$500
    Deadline is Approaching! 20 days left
    One Click Apply
    2
  3. Chris Jackson Computer Science Education Scholarship

    Funded by
    Chris Jackson's Family
    This memorial fund for Chris Jackson will support students who want to pursue a Computer Science degree to make the world a better place.
    All students are eligible
    Amount:$5,000
    Deadline:Oct 15, 2024
    One Click Apply
    3
  4. Boardroom Scholarship

    Funded by
    Bold.org
    Perfect for sports-lovers interested in reading daily stories on sports, business, and culture.
    All students are eligible
    Amount:$1,000
    Deadline:Apr 01, 2023
    One Click Apply
    Scholarship is awarded to
    1 winner
    4
  5. Huddle Up Scholarship

    Funded by
    Bold.org
    Perfect for candidates interested in learning more about the money and business behind the sports industry.
    All students are eligible
    Amount:$1,000
    Deadline:Jul 01, 2023
    One Click Apply
    Scholarship is awarded to
    1 winner
    5
  6. Donald De La Haye "No Regrets" Scholarship

    Funded by
    Donald De La Haye
    The Donald De La Haye "No Regrets" Scholarship exists to support an athlete who could use a helping hand on his or her pathway to success.
    All students are eligible
    Amount:$5,000
    Deadline:Apr 15, 2021
    One Click Apply
    Scholarship is awarded to
    1 winner
    6
  7. GIST Sports Media No-Essay Scholarship

    Funded by
    Bold.org
    This scholarship is for students passionate about sports media and leveling the playing field for women in sports.
    All students are eligible
    Amount:$500
    Deadline:May 31, 2024
    One Click Apply
    Scholarship is in review
    7
  8. FOS Sports Industry Professional Scholarship

    Funded by
    FOS
    This scholarship will support one student who wants to pursue a career as a sports industry professional.

    Eligibility Criteria:

    • Education Level: High school, undergraduate, graduate
    • Career Path: Sports industry professional
    Amount:$2,000
    Deadline:Feb 01, 2022
    One Click Apply
    Scholarship is awarded to
    1 winner
    8
  9. Classic Nerd Scholarship

    Funded by
    Bold.org
    This scholarship will be awarded to applicants who get the most out of reading Classic Nerd!
    All students are eligible
    Amount:$1,000
    Deadline:Jan 01, 2023
    One Click Apply
    Scholarship is awarded to
    1 winner
    9
  10. No-Essay Sideline Sprint Sports News Scholarship

    Funded by
    Bold.org
    This scholarship will be awarded to sports fans who get the most out of the Sideline Sprint newsletter.
    All students are eligible
    Amount:$1,000
    Deadline:Aug 24, 2021
    One Click Apply
    Scholarship is awarded to
    1 winner
    10
  11. Life-Changing Concepts Scholarship

    Funded by
    Bold.org
    Perfect for anyone who is interesting in learning new modes of thinking!
    All students are eligible
    Amount:$1,000
    Deadline:Jul 01, 2023
    One Click Apply
    Scholarship is awarded to
    1 winner
    11
  12. Sportsletter Sports News No-Essay Scholarship

    Funded by
    Bold.org
    This scholarship will be awarded to applicants who get the most out of The Sportsletter.
    All students are eligible
    Amount:$1,000
    Deadline:Sep 01, 2022
    One Click Apply
    Scholarship is awarded to
    1 winner
    12
  13. Hermit Tarot Scholarship

    Funded by
    Patti Woods
    This scholarship will support a student who is interested in tarot.

    Eligibility Criteria:

    • Education Level: High school or undergraduate
    • Hobby/Interest: Tarot
    Amount:$500
    Deadline:Feb 07, 2024
    One Click Apply
    Scholarship is awarded to
    1 winner
    13
  14. Upshot Sports Scholarship

    Funded by
    Bold.org
    Perfect for sports fans who enjoy reading sports news!
    All students are eligible
    Amount:$500
    Deadline:Nov 01, 2022
    One Click Apply
    Scholarship is awarded to
    1 winner
    14
  15. Engineers of the Future Scholarship

    Funded by
    wiseGEEK
    This scholarship will support students pursuing a degree in engineering.

    Eligibility Criteria:

    • Education Level: Any
    • Major/Field: Engineering
    Amount:$500
    Deadline:Nov 15, 2022
    One Click Apply
    Scholarship is awarded to
    1 winner
    15
  16. WPU Esports and Gaming Administration Scholarship

    Funded by
    Bold.org
    This scholarship is for students who are passionate about gaming and ready to turn their hobby into a lucrative profession.
    All students are eligible
    Amount:$1,000
    Deadline:May 01, 2022
    One Click Apply
    Scholarship is awarded to
    1 winner
    16
  17. Front Office Sports Scholarship

    Funded by
    Bold.org
    This scholarship will be awarded to applicants who get the most out of reading Front Office Sports!
    All students are eligible
    Amount:$500
    Deadline:Jun 01, 2023
    One Click Apply
    Scholarship is awarded to
    1 winner
    17
  18. New Year, New Opportunity Scholarship

    Funded by
    Sarah Frank
    This scholarship aims to support high school and undergraduate students so they can feel confident about affording the college of their dreams.

    Eligibility Criteria:

    • Education Level: High school, undergraduate
    Amount:$1,000
    Deadline:Mar 03, 2022
    One Click Apply
    Scholarship is awarded to
    1 winner
    18
  19. Scholarship for Sports Majors

    Funded by
    PrimePutt
    This scholarship will support students majoring in a sports-related field.

    Eligibility Criteria:

    • Education Level: Any
    • Major/Career Field: Sports-related
    Amount:$1,000
    Deadline:Mar 01, 2023
    One Click Apply
    Scholarship is awarded to
    1 winner
    19
3 Esports scholarships have approaching deadlines.
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Esports Scholarships for Gamers

Did you know that you can get college esports scholarships for playing video games?

It’s true! Skilled League of Legends players, Overwatch enthusiasts, and other gamers can be recruited into varsity esports programs for collegiate esports and receive esports scholarships.

As professional esports gain traction among viewers, more U.S. colleges are treating varsity esports like traditional athletics and awarding esports student-athletes with athletic benefits—including gaming scholarships. Indeed, the video game industry has been growing rapidly in the last few years, with the number of viewers who watch esports expected to grow to 640.8 million by the end of 2025.

While collegiate esports is still much newer than traditional sports programs, giving esports athletes the same scholarship perks as traditional scholar athletes makes a lot of sense since excelling in esports requires many similar skills to traditional sports. 

For example, competitive gamers need strong reflexes, strategic thinking, and outstanding teamwork to excel in their sport, not to mention hundreds of hours of practice. Fine motor skills, mental fortitude, and creativity are also essential to performing well as a gamer.

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Over 170 U.S. colleges and universities now have official esports teams, and many offer partial esports scholarships, full-tuition scholarships, and even full rides for their rosters. Bold.org also offers a $1,000 scholarship for student-gamers interested in attending William Pace University.

Here, Bold.org has compiled all the information you need about getting recruited onto an esports team and earning scholarship money for playing video games, including a list of the top 10 U.S. college esports programs.

Check out our other blog posts for more information on college scholarships, financial aid, and athletic scholarships. Create a free bold.org profile to access our scholarship search engine to find more scholarship opportunities.

What Games Can You Get Scholarships For?

Varsity esports teams exist for many different kinds of video games. You can be recruited to play most games for which a competitive gaming league exists.

Some of the most popular games for college esports include multiplayer online battle arena games like League of Legends and Defense of the Ancients (DOTA). These games suit collegiate Esports well because they require strong teamwork and communication.

You can also be recruited to play real-time strategy games like Starcraft or World of Warcraft and first-person shooter games such as Fortnite and Overwatch.

Other common games for college programs are Super Smash Brothers, Rocket League, Rainbow Six: Siege, and Hearthstone.

The games offered by each college vary depending on the size and age of their program. Make sure to research what games you can play for esports scholarships at your school of choice.

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How To Get Recruited as an Esports Athlete

The best way to win an esports scholarship is to be recruited onto a varsity esports team. You can increase your chances of being recruited by maintaining a strong high school GPA, improving your gaming skills, and contacting college esports coaches.

Here are a few additional tips for maximizing your chances of winning esports scholarships:

  1. Maintain a stellar high school GPA to meet the academic requirements for varsity esports teams.
  2. Excelling in academics will also ensure you are a more attractive, well-rounded candidate for coaches and recruiters.
  3. Stream on Twitch: Stream and record your gaming so that you have a record of your best plays to show to coaches and recruiters.
  4. Compete and play against other gamers to add highlights to your resume.
  5. Contact college esports coaches: Send an introductory email to the coaches who work with varsity gamers at your college of choice.
  6. This is a great way to network and get your name out there as a gamer. Be sure to send coaches an esports highlight video to give them a sense of your technique and thinking.

How To Make an Esports Highlight Video

An Esports highlight video is a short, 1 to 2-minute video that showcases some of your best gameplay and evidences your reflexes, mental fortitude, and creativity when playing video games. You can use an Esports highlight video to boost your resume or portfolio and send the video to coaches and recruiters.

  • Catch the viewer's attention in the first minute of the video by including four or five of your best plays that best represent your gaming skills
  • Include your contact info in the video and description so interested coaches and recruiters can reach out.
  • Publish the video on Twitch, YouTube, or your Next College Student Athlete (NCSA) recruiting profile. Be sure to also include your video on your LinkedIn profile and in any college applications that allow you to include a personal portfolio or attach footage of an extracurricular activity.

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What to Expect During College Esports Tryouts

  to learn about gamers’ thinking processes, coaching staff vet them by watching them on television or Twitch streams and reviewing their highlight videos. Once the coaching teams have found an ideal prospect, they will invite them to come to campus to try it out.

During the tryouts, coaches seek effective in-game communication, teamplay, and a positive and team-oriented attitude. Focus on strengthening these skills before you attend tryouts.

Some colleges also have open-enrollment tryouts that you can sign up for on their esports website as a high school student interested in attending their school. Keep following up after completing a training session and continue communicating with the coaches and recruiters if you want to participate in a program.

What Colleges in the United States Offer Esports Scholarships

Over 170 colleges in the United States now have established esports teams, and many of these schools offer esports scholarships to their players in the form of partial and full esports scholarships. Bold.org has compiled a list of the Top 10 Collegiate Esports Programs in the United States.

In addition to esports scholarships, many of these schools also offer educational opportunities for players through mentorship and networking, internships, and bachelor's degrees in game design and game development. Students can also be involved with esports as casual players or members of the news, social media, and broadcasting teams.

University of California Irvine (UC Irvine) - Irvine, CA

UC Irvine was one of the first public universities to create an official esports program. UCI Esports launched in 2016 and currently hosts varsity teams for League of Legends, Overwatch, and Valorant.

Varsity scholar-athletes on the five-member League of Legends team earn up to $6,000 in scholarship money, and the five junior-varsity members earn up to $1,000. Scholarships are also available for many of the other varsity and junior varsity gaming teams, and UCI Esports offers other gaming scholarships for student gamers on campus, including a $2500 Pokimane Scholarship.

University of Texas, Dallas - Dallas, TX

UT Dallas's Esports program launched in 2018 and currently has varsity teams for League of Legends, Rocket League, Valorant, Overwatch 2, and Smash Ultimate. Varsity players receive athletic scholarships, priority class registration, and varsity athlete gear, in addition to other benefits.

Dallas's Super Smash Brothers team took home its second national championship in 2021, beating Michigan State University to bring home the Collegiate Starleague Smash Ultimate National Championships title. The Overwatch team also ranked in the top 8 that year, and the Rocket League team finished in the top 6.

Miami University - Oxford, OH

Miami University's varsity esports program launched in 2016 and offers varsity teams for seven different video games: Hearthstone, League of Legends, NBA2K, Overwatch, Rocket League, Smash Bros. Ultimate, and Valorant.

Junior varsity teams also exist for Hearthstone, Rocket League, and Halo. State-of-the-art practice and tournament spaces are available for players to use, including a varsity-exclusive location called The Thunder Room in the King library. All students can reserve another tournament room for show matches or competitions.

Miami University students also have the opportunity to mentor younger students who aspire to compete in collegiate esports gaming during a week-long training boot camp during the summer. Mentors teach students about in-game teamwork, communication, and strategy, as well as building healthy habits like taking stretch breaks and incorporating physical activity.

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Hawaii Pacific University - Honolulu, HI

Hawaii Pacific University's esports program began as a club of 12 students who played League of Legends and organized practices and scrimmages against other teams in the mainland United States. Now, esports at Hawaii Pacific has expanded to offer esports scholarships to League of Legends and Overwatch players who compete for the school at open and invitational tournaments and the Peach Belt Conference.

A 3,000-square-foot Esports Arena in downtown Honolulu's historic Aloha Marketplace is equipped with state-of-the-art gaming PCs, virtual reality stations, and indoor and outdoor viewing areas.

Concordia University Texas - Austin, TX

Concordia University varsity esports placed first in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference in 2021 and third in 2022. The program offers up to 10 $2,000 scholarships for players that are recruited to play on their varsity teams.

Esports scholarships are based on game history, ranking, and performance during esports tryouts. Players can try out for a spot on a varsity team regardless of rank and skill level, and varsity teams exist for Overwatch, League of Legends, Smash Ultimate, Rocket League, and Valorant.

University of Utah - Salt Lake City, Utah

The University of Utah began offering esports programs in 2017 and is one of the largest United States universities to have an esports program. Teams represented include League of Legends, Overwatch, Rocket League, and Hearthstone.

The program is sponsored by Rockstar Energy Drinks and Mountain Dew, allowing the University of Utah to provide generous esports scholarships to its players.

Full Sail University - Winter Park, Florida

Full Sail Armada - Full Sail's collegiate esports team - offers a robust roundup of varsity esports programs for many games that do not have teams at other universities, including Rainbow Six: Siege, Halo Infinite, Call of Duty, and Smite.

Full Sail's impressive Orlando Health Fortress is the largest collegiate esports arena in the United States, with the capacity to seat 500 viewers, 10 million pixels of LED wall, and a concert-level PA system.

In 2022, Full Sail hosted the largest North American youth esports tournament. Two full Sail students received $5,000 each in scholarship money for their creative contributions to the event.

Full Sail also offers a Game Business and Esports Bachelor of Science degree, both online and in-person.

University of Southern California - Los Angeles, CA

USC Trojan Esports hosts both casual and competitive games for players of all levels. The program hosts frequent student-wide tournaments to foster community and fun among the student body, including an Among Us Tournament and Overwatch Competition in 2021.

Additionally, the Women in Esports interview series publishes interviews with women-identifying students at USC who are involved with Trojan Esports. Varsity and club esports teams are offered for League of Legends, Smash Ultimate, Overwatch, Hearthstone, and Rocket League.

University of California, Berkeley - Berkeley, CA

University of California, Berkeley is one of the oldest collegiate esports programs, having won their first national title in 2009. The program currently offers 14 different games for Division 1 and 6 other games for Division 2.

Varsity gamers and new gamers alike can use the Cal Esports Community Center, which is equipped with 55 PCs, a Twitch broadcasting center, and other amenities. Furthermore, the Women in Gaming initiative allows women-identifying students to play more games at Berkeley, furthering gender equity in a male-dominated industry.

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