Every year, the AIAS Foundation offers scholarships to support students pursuing careers in the interactive entertainment industry. If you’re passionate about gaming, virtual or augmented reality, or other interactive mediums, these scholarships can help fund your education and get you one step closer to your dream job.
The AIAS Foundation currently offers three scholarship opportunities:
- The Mark Beaumont Scholarship provides $2,500 to students attending or planning to attend an accredited college, university, or vocational/technical school in the U.S. or Canada. To qualify, you must be pursuing a degree or certification in a field related to interactive entertainment, like game art and design, production, programming, or business.
- The Gene Davis Scholarship also provides $2,500 and has the same eligibility criteria as the Mark Beaumont Scholarship. However, applicants must be from an underrepresented or marginalized group in the video game industry, such as women, people of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community or people with disabilities. The goal is to help reduce barriers to entry for those groups.
- The Facebook Reality Labs Scholarship provides funding for students from marginalized groups studying virtual or augmented reality. The scholarship amount varies but can be up to $10,000 per recipient. Applicants must be pursuing a degree in a field related to AR, VR or other interactive computing technologies.
The application periods for these scholarships open in December of each year. If you meet the eligibility criteria, I highly recommend applying. These scholarships can help open doors to an exciting career and allow you to follow your passion. Every bit of financial support counts, so don’t miss out on this opportunity!
Eligibility Requirements for the 2024/2025 AIAS Scholarships
To be eligible for the AIAS Foundation Scholarships for the 2024/2025 academic year, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident enrolled full-time in an accredited four-year college or university in the U.S.
- Be a sophomore (second year) or junior (third year) at the time of application. In other words, you must have completed at least one full year of post-secondary study by the application deadline.
- Be pursuing a degree in a game design or computer simulation related program, such as:
- Game Design
- Game Art and Animation
- Interactive Media
- Computer Science with a focus on game development
- Be in good academic standing with a minimum 2.5 GPA.
- Not be related to or employed by AIAS staff or board members. The AIAS Scholarship Program is intended to help students who do not have a direct connection to the organization.
- Meet the eligibility criteria for any additional named scholarships you apply for. Some scholarships have additional requirements based on location, field of study, etc.
To apply for an AIAS Foundation Scholarship, you will need to provide the following:
- An official transcript from your current post-secondary institution demonstrating your GPA and enrollment.
- Two letters of recommendation from your professors in a relevant program of study. The letters should speak to your abilities, work ethic, and potential for success in the field.
- A 500-word personal statement explaining your academic and career goals in the interactive entertainment industry. Discuss your coursework, relevant experience, skills, and future ambitions.
- Additional application materials for any named scholarships you wish to be considered for. Refer to the website for details on each scholarship’s additional requirements.
If selected as a recipient, you will receive up to $5,000 to be applied toward your tuition, books, and other educational expenses. Scholarship funds are paid directly to the student’s school to be distributed to the student upon enrollment for the following term. Best of luck!
How to Apply for the AIAS Foundation Scholarships
The application process for the AIAS Foundation Scholarships is straightforward. Here are the steps to apply:
1. Check Your Eligibility
First, make sure you meet the basic eligibility criteria, including:
- Being an undergraduate or graduate student currently enrolled in an accredited US college or university
- Having a minimum 3.0 GPA
- Being a US citizen, permanent resident, or have a valid student visa
- Having an interest in interactive entertainment as demonstrated through your coursework, projects, internships, or other experiences
2. Gather the Required Documents
You will need to submit several documents with your application, including:
- An official transcript from all colleges or universities you have attended. Unofficial transcripts will not be accepted.
- Two letters of recommendation from professors or academic advisors who can speak to your abilities and potential for success in interactive entertainment.
- A resume or CV outlining your education, work experience, skills, honors, and activities.
- An essay between 500 to 1000 words on your interests and goals in interactive entertainment and how the scholarship will help you achieve them. Discuss any relevant coursework, projects, internships, or other experiences you have.
3. Apply Online
Once you have confirmed your eligibility and gathered the required documents, you are ready to apply! Apply on the AIAS Foundation website. The application will require you to submit all documents, transcripts, recommendations, your resume, and the essay response.
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The deadline for applications is March 1, 2024. Award recipients will be notified in May 2024. Scholarship funds will be disbursed for use during the 2024-2025 academic year.
Good luck with your application! The AIAS Foundation Scholarships provide an incredible opportunity to help fund your education and pursue your dreams in interactive entertainment.