One Major University Now Offering Scholarships For Gamers

Are you a big-time gamer? Want to go to college, but worried about the high price of admission? The University of Utah might have a viable option for you: The school now offers scholarships for competitive video gaming. 

The University of Utah announced Wednesday that it had created a college-sponsored varsity “esports” program through its Entertainment Arts & Engineering video game development program.

The program, the school claims, is the first for any college in the five so-called “power conferences,” which include the Pac-12, Big Ten, Big 12, Atlantic Coast, and Southeastern conferences.

A rep for the University of Utah tells Consumerist that each of the team’s 35 members will be eligible to receive a minimum of a $1,000 scholarship each year. Eventually, the school plans to offer students full-rides through marketing and scholarship deals.

Utah’s esports team will play Riot Games’ League of Legends and compete in Riot’s collegiate league which includes more than 750 university club teams and 200 official varsity programs.

“EAE is proud to elevate competitive gaming at the U,” Robert Kessler, director of EAE, said in a statement. “We think it is a great opportunity for our students, the vibrant gaming community here on campus and Utah fans in general to come together and watch these players hone their skills and play competitively to represent our school.”