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Scholarships are awards (usually monetary) given to students by an organization or donor to help pay for students’ education. Students must meet the organization or donor’s criteria — such as pursuing a certain program of study, demonstrating financial need, writing an essay on a particular topic, or being an exemplary student.

If you are accepted for a scholarship opportunity, you should notify DigiPen’s Office of Financial Aid as soon as possible so we can add the funds to your award letter and account and work with the scholarship agency if necessary. Private organizations will notify you directly of an award, its requirements, and how you will receive the funds.

DigiPen will apply any scholarship awards toward your unmet need or will reduce your loan aid (rather than grant aid) by an amount equal to the scholarship award. Note that scholarship dollars usually will not replace your expected family contribution (EFC).

DigiPen Scholarships

DigiPen offers the following need-based and merit-based scholarships for eligible undergraduate and graduate students.

All eligible, accepted students are considered for the DigiPen Presidential Merit Scholarship and the Computer Engineering scholarships (if pursuing the BS in Computer Engineering degree program). You must submit a separate application for each other scholarship for which you qualify.

The DigiPen Presidential Merit Scholarship

In support of DigiPen’s goal of attracting the best and brightest students, DigiPen Institute of Technology awards a number of merit scholarships each year to students who exhibit exceptionally strong academic performance and/or artistic talent. All applicants to the school are automatically considered for a DigiPen Presidential Merit Scholarship — no application is necessary.

Art Scholarship

The priority deadline for this scholarship is February 1.

DigiPen offers two scholarships of up to $10,000 each for incoming students who demonstrate considerable artistic talent. To apply for this scholarship, students must complete the Art Scholarship application below and submit the required materials listed on the application. The first scholarship is awarded after the February 1 priority deadline and the second is awarded after the April 1 deadline.

Bridge Scholarship

The priority deadline for this scholarship is February 1.

DigiPen offers a limited number of Bridge Scholarships to incoming students who demonstrate considerable financial need. To be considered, students must complete a FAFSA ( in addition to the Bridge Scholarship application below. Bridge Scholarships are awarded in late spring to early summer, once students have completed the financial aid process for the upcoming academic year.

Computer Engineering Scholarships

DigiPen awards up to 20 scholarships based on merit and financial need to highly qualified applicants who commit to pursuing the Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering (BSCE) degree program. These scholarships cover up to 75% of tuition and are renewable for up to five years. Recipients of Computer Engineering Scholarships are also eligible to earn an additional $1,500 stipend for summer research projects at DigiPen following their sophomore and junior years.

All applicants to the BSCE program are automatically considered for this scholarship; there is no separate application.

To retain the Computer Engineering Scholarship, a recipient must continue to pursue the BSCE degree program and maintain a GPA of 2.5 or higher. For recipients who receive additional grants or scholarships, the sum of the Computer Engineering Scholarship and these other awards may not exceed the total cost of tuition.

FIRST Scholarship

DigiPen offers two merit–based scholarships of $5,000 each for high school seniors who have participated on a For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) team during their junior or senior year of high school. A scholarship committee evaluates applications based on an essay about the applicant’s involvement in FIRST and the student’s academic record.

Jim Johnson Memorial Scholarship

DigiPen Institute of Technology is honored to present the Jim Johnson Memorial Scholarship. Jim Johnson was a filmmaker, educator, colleague, mentor, friend, husband, and father. He taught everyone at DigiPen many things in his decade-long tenure here, but the one thing he’ll always be remembered for is encouraging us to pursue our passions and dreams.

Jim began his journey toward a career as a physicist at the University of California, Los Angeles, but realized shortly thereafter that his true passion was in film. True to Jim’s character, he followed his heart and transferred to Humboldt State University to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts. Soon thereafter, Jim earned a grant from the American Film Institute and completed his master’s degree in cinematography.

Jim wrote, directed, and edited hundreds of films, ranging from long-form TV commercials to interactive web media, earning dozens of industry awards throughout his filmmaking career. In 2004, he joined DigiPen Institute of Technology’s Department of Animation and Production—the department for which he would eventually become principal lecturer and department chair. For over a decade, he graciously shared a wealth of knowledge and insight, modeled his passions, and earned the respect and admiration of the entire DigiPen community.

This scholarship is intended to celebrate Jim’s passion, career, and life while championing one candidate who demonstrates the courage and willingness to take chances and make bold decisions.

Scholarship Description

The deadline for this scholarship is April 1.

The purpose of the Jim Johnson scholarship is to promote and provide financial assistance to a candidate who demonstrates talent, creativity, and a sense of adventure and courage in the pursuit of a degree in digital art at DigiPen Institute of Technology.


The award for this scholarship is up to $25,000 per year for up to four years (Bachelor’s degree student) or up to $25,000 per year for up to two years (Master’s degree student), to be applied toward tuition and fees at DigiPen Institute of Technology and subject to terms and conditions as indicated on the award offer letter.

Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible for this scholarship, a candidate:

  • Must be a citizen or legal permanent resident of the United States
  • Must be accepted to and enrolled full-time at DigiPen Institute of Technology in the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Art and Animation or Master of Fine Arts in Digital Art degree program
  • Must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale (unweighted)

Application Materials

The following materials must be submitted for a candidate to be considered:

  • High school transcripts (and college transcripts, if applicable)*
  • Standardized test scores or achievement test scores*
  • Two letters of recommendation (letters from relatives will not be accepted)
  • A typed resume (12-point font) detailing education, work experience (if applicable), accolades, achievements, extracurricular activities, community service/involvement, and any information detailing artistic achievement
  • An essay (1,000 words max.) responding to the following prompt:

“Think about a time in your life when you decided to take a risk or chance. Describe your decision, the impact your decision has had on your life, and how the experience has affected how you make decisions.”

* If you have already submitted your transcripts and test scores to DigiPen’s Office of Admissions for your application to the BFA or MFA degree program, they will be forwarded to the Office of Financial Aid on your behalf.

Only applicants to DigiPen’s BFA or MFA degree programs are eligible for this scholarship. In addition to the above materials, the quality of the art portfolio you submitted with your application to the BFA or MFA program will be weighed when considering your application for the Jim Johnson Memorial Scholarship.

Selection Criteria

Selection is based on a rating system consisting of five major categories. The candidate with the highest combined rating from these categories will receive the scholarship. These categories are:

  • Quality of content submission (scholarship essay as well as your art portfolio you submitted with your BFA/MFA program application)
  • Academic performance
  • Leadership/community service experience and contribution
  • Content of letters of recommendation
  • Quality of answers during phone/in-person committee interview


Click here to begin or continue the online application for the Jim Johnson Memorial Scholarship.

  • In addition to filling out the online application form, in order to complete your scholarship application you must request that your high school transcripts (and college transcripts, if applicable) be sent to DigiPen’s Office of Financial Aid in an envelope sealed and mailed by your school. Self-mailed or self-sealed transcripts will not be accepted. You must also submit your SAT or ACT test scores to DigiPen’s Office of Financial Aid before your application is considered complete.

    • (If you have already submitted your final transcripts and test scores to DigiPen’s Office of Admissions, you may skip this step.)


Completed application materials must be submitted by April 1 for applicants to be eligible for the Jim Johnson Memorial Scholarship.

DigiPen Scholarships for Continuing Students

The priority deadline for this scholarship is February 1.

Continuing students who demonstrate financial need and academic success can apply for DigiPen’s Scholarships for Continuing Students by submitting the application below. These scholarships are awarded to DigiPen sophomores, juniors, and seniors who:

  1. have demonstrated leadership skills through active participation in campus activities,
  2. have proven to be valuable members of the DigiPen community,
  3. and are making satisfactory academic progress.

DigiPen offers three different Scholarships for Continuing Students, including the Continued Student Academic Success (CSAS) Scholarship, the DigiPen Financial Stimulus Scholarship, and the Campus Leadership Scholarship. All three of these scholarships utilize the same application; applicants must indicate on their application which scholarships they would like to apply for.

Private Scholarships

Private scholarships are offered by a variety of third-party organizations, each with its own eligibility criteria, requirements, deadlines, and award amounts.

To be considered eligible for a private scholarship, you must usually submit an application. Submitting the FAFSA does not by itself qualify students for scholarships, but many scholarships (including DigiPen’s institutional scholarships) require that you submit your FAFSA beforehand to prove financial need.

Featured Private Scholarships

DigiPen students have found success with the following private scholarships.

  • College Success Foundation: Need-based scholarships offered by the College Success Foundation are available to students attending college in Washington State. Scholarships available include the Leadership 1000 Scholarship, the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship, and the Governor’s Scholarship for Foster Youth.
  • Robert B. McMillen Foundation Scholarship: This $25,000 scholarship is available to students pursuing an education in fine art at select schools, including DigiPen.

Other Private Scholarships

Students are encouraged to seek out and apply for private scholarship opportunities to fund their education. DigiPen does not endorse any particular private scholarships, but we suggest using the following scholarship search engines to begin your search: