SANTA MONICA, CA – MAY 28: The USC marching band performs during the League of Legends College Championship Game between Maryville University and the University of Toronto at the NA LCS Studio at Riot Games Arena. (Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images)

The Entertainment Software Association announced this week that it will fund scholarships for esports and LGBTQ+ students. It is the first time the ESA has provided funding for students in esports.

The esports scholarship is available to students on esports teams at US, four-year institutions. The ESA mentions that the scholarship aims to award more women and minority students than typical esports scholarships. Stating that the the demographics of game viewers and consumers isn’t matching up to the types of students receiving esports scholarship dollars.

The ESA Foundation executive director, Anastasia Staten, said this of the new initiative.


We’re excited to expand our scholarship offering this year to include underrepresented students passionate about esports, which has quickly become one of the most popular forms of entertainment.

The new LGBTQ+ scholarship is co-awarded by Gay Gaming Professionals (GGP). The GGP puts on a host of events alongside major gaming conventions and conferences like E3 and Pax. Awardees of ESA’s Computer and Video Game Arts scholarship can also still apply for the new LGBTQ+ award as well.

All three scholarships are open for application but will close very soon. Scholarship dollar amounts were not disclosed in the ESA’s announcement. But according to a report from Wired, the average award is about $4,800 a year. The window closes March 2nd, 2020 for awards in the Fall 2020 semester.