Financial Aid and Funding for Computer Game Design

Attending a computer game design program can be expensive. Although these college degree programs can help you find a job in the fast-growing gaming industry, it can be expensive to get your degree. With the help of financial aid, you can go to school for little out of pocket costs. Let’s take a look at your options for student financial aid if you want to start a computer game design program.

Game Design Scholarships

Scholarships are available to students based on merit, like academic achievement. Many are given to students who who enter essay competitions as well. In any case, this is a great kind of financial aid for school since you don’t have to repay the money when you graduate. General scholarships are available for all students and can most commonly be earned from colleges themselves, but outside organizations also offer scholarships in come cases, especially scholarships that are specifically for computer game design students. Here are some great places to start your scholarship search:

  • International Game Developers Association
  • Microsoft
  • Sony Online Entertainment
  • Electronic Arts
  • ESA Foundation

If you’re still in high school, you can also attend the Emagination Game Design Computer Camp program, through which you can later earn money for school.

Game Design Grants

Grants are like scholarships in that you don’t have to repay them, but the qualifying factor in this case is financial need. The best place to start if you’re interested in a college grant is the government. Undergraduates whose families meet financial requirements can fill out the FAFSA form to receive the federal Pell Grant, and other departments also offer college grants from time to time, based on funding. Also like scholarships, colleges grants can be individually awarded from schools as well.

Game Design Student Loans

Student loans do have to be repaid, but the good news is that not only are they easier to get than a loan for, say, a car, but they also have a deferment period. That means you don’t have to start repaying the loan until after you graduate (in some cases, up to nine months after you graduate). This gives you the chance to find and start a job in the gaming industry before you are responsible for loan repayment.

Guide to Computer Game Design Schools

There is no limit to the potential in the computer game design field, which is quickly becoming the premiere medium for cultural storytelling, information and entertainment. The hands-on, interactive curriculum includes computer game design courses that prepare each student for creative success. Below are some of the best online computer game design degrees and related programs.

Sanford-Brown College – The Sanford-Brown College BFA in Game Production is designed for those seeking to become video game designers. Students will obtain education from instructors who possess real-world experience and can assist graduates in creating a competitive successful digital portfolio. Programmers will also learn various business, communicative and teambuilding skills to thrive within the industry.
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Full Sail University – Full Sail's Bachelor of Science in Game Design offers its students the chance to cultivate skills and techniques required to both design and program games and aid in interactive storytelling. Graduates will learn how to plan, develop and test their work to be professionally marketable and help prep for careers with design companies.
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DeVry University – DeVry University offers students bachelor degrees in Gaming and Simulation Programming and Web Game Programming. Courses include language coding, visual design principles, and software methodology pertaining to video games. The BCIS offers training in multimedia and web site design that can be used to help create online gaming.
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Southern New Hampshire University – The Southern New Hampshire University BSIT in Game Design and Development program is offered for students interested in learning the art of game design. Topics covered could include storyboards, directing, programming, marketing, and testing of games from a variety of genres. Graduates go on to work for gaming production companies.
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