The Entertainment Software Association is now offering sports scholarships. Esports scholarships.
The ESA, the trade organization representing United States video game publishers, announced on Thursday that it is expanding its 20-year-old scholarship program to include esports competitors in college.
The ESA Foundation’s esports scholarship is intended to elevate the participation of women and minorities, who account for a very small percentage of recipients of the esports scholarships awarded by other organizations.
The ESA Foundation’s overall goal is to advance opportunities for women and minorities in college, and their pathways into the video games industry. Established in 2000, it has raised more than $23 million in the two decades since.
The National Association of Collegiate Esports estimated last year that $16 million in esports scholarships have been awarded since 2016. The NACE comprises more than 170 member institutions across the United States, with more than 5,000 esports competitors enrolled at them.
The ESA Foundation’s esports scholarship joins two others the foundation annually awards: the Computer and Video Game Arts Scholarship, and a scholarship awarded in conjunction with Gay Gaming Professionals for service to LGBTQ+ communities.
Applications are open now, and will close March 2, 2020.