Collegiate Varsity eSports: Funding the Way to Higher Education for High School Athletes

May 26, 2023 | Advocacy, eSports

The rising popularity of eSports has led to a surge in the number of colleges and universities across the country embracing competitive gaming. With over 240 institutions now offering varsity eSports programs and boasting a staggering 5,000+ student gamers, eSports is rapidly becoming a route to higher-level learning for student athletes like that of traditional sports such as football and basketball.

Among the institutional pioneers of this movement are renowned universities such as The University of California, Irvine, and Miami University, which not only foster an environment for eSports enthusiasts but also offer scholarships to talented gamers. For example, in the 2018-2019 school year, member universities of The National Association of Collegiate eSports offered about $16 million in scholarships to varsity eSports athletes. 

As the popularity of eSports continues to soar and the NCAA embraces competitive gaming, student athletes can anticipate an even brighter future with increased opportunities for funding, scholarships, and university selection.


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