If you want a career in the video game industry, finding the right educational program can jump-start your career and help you find a better game job, faster.
But unfortunately, college isn’t cheap—many programs can cost a small fortune that could take you years to pay back after graduation. Scholarships can reduce the amount you pay for college, which means you’ll have a lot less to pay back after you graduate. Keep reading to learn where you can find game art scholarships and how to make sure your application has the best shot at getting accepted.
Game Art Scholarships
The world of game art is an enthralling blend of creativity and technology, attracting those with an interest in visual storytelling and design. Many aspiring game artists may face financial obstacles on their way to realizing their dreams. This is where game art scholarships come into play, allowing talented individuals to gain access to education and training in this ever-changing field.
How to apply for game art scholarships
If you’re planning to attend a game college or university, get in touch with your university’s financial aid office. They can give you a list of scholarships, some of which are specific to your school or even your major. If you’re lucky, they might even have some insider advice to boost your chances of getting accepted.
Another great option is to search and apply for scholarships on a scholarship platform like Bold.org. Bold.org offers a lot of unique, easy-to-apply-for scholarships, many of which aren’t listed anywhere else.
But when you apply for scholarships, it’s easy to make mistakes that can take you out of the running. So before you apply, keep these important tips in mind:
- Follow instructions. With any scholarship, make sure to read the application instructions carefully, so you don’t forget to include any of the required information. If you don’t fill out the form completely, your application could be rejected.
- Don’t miss the application window. Pay close attention to scholarship deadlines. Scholarships are extremely strict about their deadlines, so if your application doesn’t reach them in time, it will be thrown out — no exceptions.
- Send your application early. Even if you can hit the application deadline, don’t wait until the last minute to apply. In general, the earlier you can submit your application, the better your chances of landing the scholarship.
Best game art scholarships
Entertainment Software Association Scholarships
The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) offers three scholarships for women and minority students who want to work in the video game industry. Their best-known scholarship is the ESA Foundation Computer and Video Game Arts Scholarship. This scholarship is open to students attending a four-year college or university who want to work in video game design. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and must have a GPA of at least 2.75.
The ESA also offers the ESA Foundation LGBTQ+ support Scholarship for video game arts students who also serve the LGBTQ+ community in some way. The newest ESA Foundation scholarship is for women and minority students who play for their school on an Esports team while also studying for a college degree.
The deadline for the ESA Foundation scholarships is usually in March every year, with past award amounts of $3,000 per person.
Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences Foundation Scholarships
The AIAS Foundation Scholarship is a $2,500 award for full-time undergraduate and graduate students interested in video game design or the video game industry. This includes not only students majoring in video game design, sound design, art, animation, programming, engineering, and game direction, but also those studying law, marketing, and business administration. To apply, you must attend college or university full-time and have a GPA of 3.3 or above. The deadline for the AIAS Foundation Scholarship is usually in late May every year.
The AIAS Foundation, with support from Intel, also awards the WomenIn Scholarship. The scholarship is a $2,500 award for female undergraduate or graduate students working towards a career in game development or the interactive arts industry.
AIGA Worldstudio Scholarships
The AIGA Worldstudio Scholarships are awarded to students in design, illustration, and photography from disadvantaged backgrounds. The AIGA Worldstudio Scholarship promotes talent and creativity in the design field. Also, it supports students who are involved in giving back to their communities.
Students must be undergraduates or graduates and must be U.S. citizens or have a green card. A minimum 2.0 GPA is required. Scholarship awards are usually $2,000 to $3,000, although some awards of $5,000 have been given in the past. Some students may also win a $500 “honorable mention” cash prize.
NYU Game Center Evo Scholarship
The NYU Game Center Evo Scholarship is designed for undergraduate and graduate students interested in fighting games who want to study game design at NYU’s Game Center. The Game Center is part of NYU’s respected Tisch School of the Arts and offers a four-year Bachelor of Fine Arts and a two-year Master of Fine Arts in Game Design. Past scholarships have included partial tuition or full-ride scholarships.
Twitch Students Scholarship
The 1,000 Dreams Fund Twitch Student scholarship provides 24 scholarships of $1,000 each to students who are pursuing careers in the gaming industry. To be eligible for the grant, you need to be a Twitch Affiliated or Partnered Broadcaster and currently enrolled in high school, a two-year, four-year college/university or graduate school.
If you’re one of the many video game designers-in-training who is also a competitive gamer, you might want to look into Esports scholarships.
A growing number of colleges and universities have added Esports to their athletic programs, and some offer Esports scholarships for the most talented gamers. League of Legends, Hearthstone, and Overwatch are just a few of the games that Esports teams play at colleges and universities around the country.
These universities are some of the top to offer Esports scholarships:
- University of California, Irvine
- Indiana Tech
- University of Utah
- Harrisburg University
- Robert Morris University
- Arcadia University
- Full Sail University
- Hawaii Pacific University
In conclusion, game art scholarships serve as invaluable resources for aspiring artists, breaking down financial barriers and opening doors to education and opportunities. As the gaming industry continues to thrive, the importance of nurturing diverse and talented game artists through scholarships becomes increasingly evident. By understanding the application process, overcoming challenges, and learning from success stories, aspiring game artists can embark on a transformative journey toward a rewarding career.