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In addition to educational opportunities in the field of game creation and design, there are now scholarships for those who play. Play you say? Yes, you play, it pays! Now, I share a 20th century parent’s natural concern for my 21st century children who are engulfed by screens throughout their day. But all those hours spent indoors could be a potential scholarship goldmine. For all the young gamers (and their parents) out there, there are whole crops of college scholarship opportunities, degree programs, and entire gaming institutions that seem to have popped up overnight.

Programs in Game Design and Creation:  For years now, some schools have offered courses and even degrees in this field; the fact that you can now secure scholarships for gaming is rather new. For students interested in development, an entire gaming academy has been established at University Texas Austin. At the Denis-Sams Gaming Academy, students receive a generous stipend to help cover livings costs. And this September, New York University’s Game Center will be accepting applicants for a new program offering a bachelor’s degree in video game design.  Scholarships are available to help cover tuition.

E-Sports Scholarships:  Robert Morris University in IL announced that they were offering a sports scholarship for students who exhibit a talent in gaming. Students play the competitive game League of Legends on the official school team. These students have the opportunity to receive substantial scholarships, ranging up to $19,000, to help cover tuition towards any major and living costs. Some kids play hockey, other kids play video games. Many student competitors these days play their games not with a hockey stick, but with a joystick.

Share a Game Philosophy:  Finally, scholarships in this realm reward more than your skills at button mashing: there is a game scholarship that rewards students who embody the philosophy of their favorite game hero. Fans of The Legends of Zelda are invited to write an essay describing a time when they have “displayed an exceptional amount of courage or wisdom” a la Zelda’s hero, Link. Visit the Hidden Triforce website for more information.

Whatever aspect of gaming interests your student– design, competition, or philosophy – it is evident that in the 21st century, this interest can unlock many future rewards and achievements.

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Written by Robyn Stewart
Robyn Stewart is a member of College Coach’s team of college finance experts. Prior to joining College Coach, she worked as a former financial aid officer at College of the Holy Cross.