The ESA Foundation Announces 2024-25 Scholarship

Applications offering three unique scholarship opportunities for underrepresented students are open until April 22, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 5, 2024) – The ESA Foundation has opened scholarship applications for high school seniors and undergraduate students planning to pursue a career in the video games industry. Eligible applicants have until April 22, 2024 to apply.

After a two year break, the Foundation is excited to offer three scholarships, including the Computer and Video Game Arts and Sciences Scholarship, Esports Scholarship and LGBTQ+ Service Scholarship.

“Embracing diversity in the video games industry isn’t just about representation, it’s about creating a safe space for a wealth of untapped talent and narratives,” said the ESA Foundation lead, Sue Madden. “We hope to empower young future gamemakers to create games that amplify their stories and experience.”

Women and nonbinary people, people of color and disabled people are often underrepresented in popular video games and amongst those who develop the games despite a diverse player community. The ESA Foundation’s scholarship program is 100% focused on a diverse student body to help accelerate the diversification of the talent pool in the video game workforce. And, in doing so, the program hopes the industry will create games and experiences that are inclusive and reflective of the player community and society at large.

A few facts that help show why a diverse talent pool is important include: 

  • According to NewZoo, over 50% of gamers did not play certain games because they felt the games weren’t made for them. 
  • In recent years, video games have celebrated more meaningful representation than ever before with a number of games amplifying cultural and gender identity representation. There is more work to be done and a diverse workforce will accelerate in-game inclusion.

Since the ESA Foundation’s inception in 2007, its scholarship program has helped over 450 women, nonbinary, gender-nonconforming and minority students across the U.S. follow their dreams of earning video game-related degrees or participating in collegiate esports. Alongside receiving scholarship funds, awardees are invited to educational and professional events to network with game developers, participate in internships and meet industry leaders. 

“It’s more than just a financial support opportunity; it’s also a vibrant network to be a part of. You’ll find passionate individuals who genuinely support each other’s success and share a love for all things video games,” said Scholar Alumni Roland Munguia. “Being part of this program means joining a community that celebrates your achievements and fosters personal growth.”

The ESA Foundation is dedicated to inspiring future creators in the video game industry and encouraging diversity in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM). To date, the ESA Foundation has provided more than $20 million for a wide variety of causes. Funds raised from this year’s ‘Nite to Unite’ will support the scholarship program.

Apply for the 2024-2025 ESA Foundation scholarships here. Applications are open until April 22, 2024 at 11:59 PM EST.

The Entertainment Software Association Foundation offers programs and grants to support an inclusive video games industry. By harnessing member resources, the Foundation helps create career pathways for under represented groups, convenes industry diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging leaders and helps elevate ESA member social impact work. Since 1995 the ESA Foundation has invested more than $22 million and made over 450 scholarships to STEAM focused individuals in LGBTQ+, Women and racial and ethnic diverse communities.

About the ESA Foundation
The ESA Foundation awards scholarships to the next generation of industry innovators and supports schools and nonprofits that leverage interactive entertainment technology to create meaningful opportunities for America’s youth. It seeks to harness the power of the video game industry to create positive social impact and supports geographically diverse projects and programs benefitting grantees of all ages, races and genders. To date, the ESA Foundation has provided more than $20 million for a wide variety of causes, primarily through its signature fundraising gala, Nite to Unite.

Media Contacts
The ESA Foundation

TriplePoint on behalf of the ESA Foundation