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Scholarships are gift aid (usually monetary) given to students by an organization or donor to help pay for students’ education. In order to be eligible for a scholarship, 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.


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To make your scholarship search easier, DigiPen has partnered with Scholarship Universe to offer a simple solution to get matched with both DigiPen scholarships and outside scholarships. Accepted and matriculated students can use their DigiPen sign-on credentials to log in and start searching now!

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DigiPen offers the following need-based and merit-based scholarships for eligible undergraduate and graduate students. Both U.S. and international students of DigiPen’s Redmond campus are able to apply for all of the following scholarships.

Except where noted, DigiPen scholarships require students to submit an online application to the Office of Financial Aid. Additional requirements are detailed in the scholarship description.

In addition to the scholarships below, students may wish to pursue a number of outside scholarships to help fund their education. For more information please see the Applying for Outside Scholarships section below.


DigiPen Scholarships

  • Max Award: Up to $12,000 per year for up to four years
  • Separate Application Required: Yes
  • Rolling Deadline: Scholarship applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and will close once all funds are spent for the year. Students are encouraged to apply for admission to DigiPen by the priority deadline of February 1 for priority consideration for the Bridge Scholarship. The final deadline is April 1.
  • Degree Restrictions: None

Incoming students sometimes need institutional funding to “bridge” their resources. That’s where the Bridge Scholarship plays a role in supporting both undergraduate and graduate students who demonstrate considerable financial need. To be considered, students must be admitted to DigiPen and complete the Bridge Scholarship application in addition to the Free Application for Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA). Students who are not eligible for the FAFSA are still able to apply and will need to answer some additional funding questions. Bridge Scholarships are awarded on a rolling basis as applications come in and applications close once all funds are awarded for the year. The Office of Financial Aid strongly encourages all students to apply as early as possible. Notifications regarding the Bridge Scholarship will be sent to students as the funds are awarded.

  • Max Award: $5,000 per year for up to four years
  • Separate Application Required: Yes
  • Deadlines: February 1 (Priority), April 1 (Final)
  • Degree Restrictions: None

The DigiPen Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Scholarship supports DigiPen’s commitment to using education as a social equalizer and ensuring that all students have equitable access to DigiPen’s education. The following factors may be considered in the selection process:

  • Personal Background, extra-curriculars, awards, or community service
  • Part of an underserved group, including but not limited to:
    • Women in STEM
    • Historically underrepresented minority students
    • Students who are the first in their family to pursue a college degree
    • Youth in foster care
    • LGBTQIA+ students
    • Students with disabilities

In an effort to promote diversity on our campus and encourage the development of talent from around the world, International Student Services is happy to offer the following Merit-Based Automatic Transfer Scholarships.

Level One: GPA 3.7 and above for $5,000/year for up to four years

Any F-1 international student who:

  • Has completed a minimum of 45 quarter credits or 30 semester credits of college-level classes at any U.S. college(s) and earned a 3.7 GPA in the last 24 months in any field of study.
  • Has maintained F-1 status without any legal violation while enrolled at the U.S. college(s) (to be verified by their current international student advisor) and holds the valid legal F-1 status until matriculation into DigiPen.
  • Does not qualify for federal Financial Aid.

Level Two: GPA 3.2 and above for $2,000/year for up to four years

Any F-1 international student who:

  • Has completed a minimum of 45 quarter credits or 30 semester credits of college-level classes at any U.S. college(s) and earned a 3.2 GPA in the last 24 months in any field of study.
  • Has maintained F-1 status without any legal violation while enrolled at the U.S. college(s) (to be verified by their current international student advisor) and holds the valid legal F-1 status until matriculation into DigiPen.
  • Does not qualify for federal Financial Aid.

Awards will be distributed during both fall and spring semesters. Students do not need to submit a separate scholarship application.

  • Max Award: $6,000 per year for up to four years
  • Separate Application Required: Yes
  • Deadline: April 1
  • Degree Restrictions: None

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

  • Max Award: $5,000 per year for up to four years
  • Separate Application Required: No
  • Degree Restrictions: None

In support of DigiPen’s goal of attracting the best and brightest students, DigiPen 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 Merit Scholarship when they submit their admissions application — no separate application is necessary.

  • Max Award: 50% of first-year tuition per year for up to four years
  • Separate Application Required: Yes
  • Deadline: March 1
  • Degree Restrictions: BA in Music and Sound Design, BS in Computer Science and Digital Audio, BFA in Digital Art and Animation, BS in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation, BS in Computer Science and Game Design, BS in Computer Science

DigiPen offers this merit-based scholarship available to incoming students who attended a DigiPen Technology Academy or DigiPen Animation Academy program as a high school course through WANIC, Puget Sound Skills Center, New Market Skills Center, or Pierce County Skills Center and have been accepted into one of the above degree programs at DigiPen Institute of Technology.

  • Max Award: $17,350
  • Separate Application Required: Yes
  • Deadline: November 28 (for the spring 2022 semester)
  • Degree Restrictions: All undergraduate programs

ProbablyMonsters Studios has established shared values across all studios that go hand in hand with their imperative in focusing on people, culture, and creativity:

  • Be respectful and respecting
  • Stay trusted and trusting
  • Lead approachably and accountably

With this in mind, ProbablyMonsters seeks to benefit students who are interested in a career in the game industry and share similar core values.

  • Max Award: Awarded on a case-by-case basis. Varies by financial need.
  • Separate Application Required: Yes
  • Deadline: Scholarship applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and will close once all funds are awarded for the year.
  • Degree Restrictions: None

In an effort to assist students with the most financial need, ProbablyMonsters and DigiPen Institute of Technology are providing a hardship scholarship to students who are experiencing a financial crisis.

  • Max Award: $5,000 per year for up to four years
  • Separate Application Required: Yes
  • Deadlines: February 1 (Priority), April 1 (Final)
  • Degree Restrictions: None

Schools, like communities, are a collection of people united by a common set of values. Systemic racism and discrimination are antithetical to our values as an institution of higher education. We recognize that the injustices committed against Black people and other People of Color are not isolated incidents.  As educators of future STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) professionals, we acknowledge the exclusion and inequities that exist and are committed to actively creating a more equitable future. 

We recognize that diverse voices and perspectives enrich the educational environment, yet we acknowledge that college can remain unaffordable for many. With this in mind, we are now offering this scholarship to support Black and Indigenous students, as well as those who may have suffered from historical and systemic racism and discrimination. The following will be considered in the selection process:

  • Applicant’s demographic information
  • Essay response

  • Max Award: $5,000 for one year; must apply annually
  • Separate Application Required: Yes
  • Deadline: April 1 (Scholarship applications are reviewed on a first-come-first-served basis)
  • Degree Restrictions: None

DigiPen offers three different scholarships for Continuing Students, including the Continuing 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. Scholarships are not renewable; students must apply annually.

These scholarships are awarded to DigiPen sophomores, juniors, seniors, and graduate students who:

  1. have demonstrated leadership skills through active participation in campus activities,
  2. have considerable financial need, or
  3. have demonstrated continued academic success.

  • Max Award: Awarded on a case-by-case basis. Varies by financial need.
  • Separate Application Required: Yes
  • Rolling Deadline: Scholarship applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and will close once all funds are awarded for the year.
  • Degree Restrictions: None

DigiPen students learn to overcome many hurdles during their academic careers, and when an unexpected circumstance or hardship arises, we want to make sure that they have an extra safety net to help keep them on their path to success. That’s why we’ve created the Shield Scholarship to help students overcome a temporary financial hurdle. The Shield Scholarship provides aid a semester at a time for students who may need additional assistance within an academic year after completing a Free Application for Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA) and exhausting all other financial assistance options.

This scholarship is open to incoming and current DigiPen students. Both U.S. citizens and international students may apply. To apply for a Shield Scholarship:

  • Incoming students will first need to complete the Bridge Scholarship application (when available).
  • Matriculated students will first need to complete the application for a Continuing Student Scholarship for the next aid year (when available).
  • All available federal loans must be accepted.
  • Must have proof of a PLUS and/or Private Loan denial.

Applying for Outside Scholarships

Outside scholarships come from a wide variety of sources. High schools, local clubs, national organizations, foundations, and many others have private scholarships that students should always be on the lookout for.

Scholarship search services provide students with an efficient way to seek out scholarship opportunities. Scholarship search services should be free; we discourage students from paying for these services.

Students receiving a private scholarship are required to notify the Office of Financial Aid in writing. Their award may need to be adjusted in order to stay within federal guidelines. Whenever possible, we will reduce self-help aid (loans and work-study) first. In general, scholarships will be applied entirely to the semester in which funding is received unless otherwise specified by the awarding organization or prohibited by federal regulations.

Start Early

If possible, students should start their junior year of high school researching what is required for each scholarship (letter of recommendation, qualifications, etc.). They should keep track of all the scholarships they plan to apply for as to not miss any opportunities or deadlines.

Research All Opportunities

Students should start locally and then move on to larger opportunities. Local and community scholarships generally have a higher rate of return.

  • Family and friends: Students should consider what organizations their family members are affiliated with (civic organizations, churches, professional organizations). Do any of their employers offer scholarships? If not, they should be asked them to start a program. Students shouldn’t forget about extended family members (grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.); many scholarships are not limited to immediate family members.

  • High school: Students should check their school’s website and counselor’s office. They should ask their counselor and teachers whether they know of any scholarships that they could apply for or be nominated for. This can be especially helpful in the subject areas they are planning to study (i.e., those planning to study nursing should ask science teachers; those planning to study engineering should ask math and physics teachers, etc.)

  • Community: Students should ask local businesses if they offer scholarships. Many small businesses do not have an advertising budget, so all promotion is done by word‐of‐mouth. It never hurts to ask.

  • College: Students should check with their admissions counselor, financial aid office, and academic department to see if any have scholarships they can apply for or know of any specific outside resources.

  • Online: Students should perform their own searches through Google. Here are some helpful search terms:

    • “Geographic area” community or scholarship foundation: Southwest Washington Community Foundation, Santa Barbara Community Foundation, etc. This could be a student’s city, state, region, etc.

    • Attribute or experience that makes the student unique: Methodist scholarship, running scholarship, cancer survivor scholarship, etc.

    • Professional organizations: i.e., CPA scholarship, Better Business Bureau scholarship, Chamber of Commerce scholarship, etc. Get even more specific by adding in a geographic area, such as Oregon CPA scholarship.

    • Field of study: nursing scholarship, marketing scholarship, etc.

    • Diversity characteristics: female science scholarship, Hispanic scholarship, LGBTQ scholarship, etc.

Increase The Odds

  • Students should volunteer doing something they are passionate about. Volunteering gives one a great feeling and also provides experiences to write about in essays.

  • Students can create a separate professional email address for scholarship information so nothing gets lost. Using a separate email address for scholarship applications can also cut down on spam email to regular email addresses.

  • Students should apply to as many scholarships as possible. Think of applying to scholarships as a job. If one spends 10 hours applying for scholarships and gets one $1,000 scholarship, that is the equivalent of making $100/hour. If one worked a part‐time job at $10/hour, one would have to work 100 hours to make the same amount.

  • Students should keep a resume or record of all activities, including hours spent and any leadership positions held or awards won.

  • No scholarship is too small, so students should not ignore smaller scholarships. The pool of applicants is usually smaller which increases one’s chances of receiving the award.

Understand Scholarship Criteria

  • “Need” can mean a lot of different things depending on the scholarship. Some have specific income criteria while others use a more generic definition of financial need. Need does not always mean living in or close to poverty. Many middle class families are considered to have financial need as well.

  • “First generation” means that neither of a student’s parents completed a college degree.

  • “Diversity” does not always mean racial/ethnic diversity. Read the criteria carefully as diversity may mean things like a female studying in a predominately male field, a LGBTQ student or a male in a female-dominated field.

  • “Overcoming adversity” does not always have to mean overcoming something catastrophic. Everyone has struggles that they have overcome. If framed well, these experiences can be a powerful story.

Stay Organized

Students should use a Scholarship Tracking Worksheet to stay organized and meet deadlines. They should start working on scholarships at least a month before the deadline, especially if it requires an essay or letters of recommendation. Students are encouraged to download our Scholarship Tracking Worksheet which allows them to record and track their outside scholarships. They should feel free to edit the spreadsheet based on their scholarship tracking needs. Scholarship entries will automatically be transferred to a monthly calendar so one can plan for upcoming deadlines.

Follow ALL Directions

Many scholarship applications will immediately disqualify students for not following all directions. Students should not let an oversight keep them from having an opportunity.

Write a Powerful Essay

  • Grammar, punctuation, and spelling count: Students should use the resources available to them at school/on campus such as tutors and writing centers.

  • Tell a story: Powerful essays bring the reader in and highlight one’s story.

  • Brag a little: Scholarship providers do not know students personally and want to know why they should give them a scholarship. What makes them special or unique? How did they get to where they are? What have they overcome and who helped them overcome it? How has this helped them to shape their future goals?

  • Do not reinvent the wheel: Several scholarships may have similar questions/prompts. Students should reuse a previously written essay (unless it is expressly forbidden), tailoring it for the new scholarship opportunity.

  • Proofread EVERYTHING: Students should review everything they submit carefully and have at least one other person read it. The more eyes the better.

Have a Great Recommender

Students should provide their recommendation writers with a packet of information to make their job easier.

  • Give recommenders plenty of time: At least 2‐4 weeks. Most recommenders are asked to write recommendations for many students; students should give them enough time to write more than a “form” letter.

  • Choose recommenders carefully:

    • Students should not ask a parent or relative, even if they are their teachers or have supervised them in volunteer activities.

    • If a scholarship focuses on a special skill set, students should ask someone who has seen them exercise that skill. For example, if athletics is considered, they should ask a coach or league official. If community service is considered, they ask a staff person or head volunteer of the organization.

    • If students know that a specific recommender gets many requests for recommendations, they should see if there’s someone else who might be a better fit. If someone is writing too many recommendations, they may not have time to write the best letter.

  • Remember, recommenders’ time is valuable, so students should provide the following information in a packet when it is asked of them:

    • The student’s full name and contact information

    • Name of scholarship and organization providing it

    • Where to send the recommendation letter – does it come back to the student or get mailed directly to the organization? If they are sending it to the organization, students should provide them with a stamped, addressed envelope.

    • Information about the scholarship and the selection criteria – this helps them tailor their letter to the scholarship.

    • A copy of the student’s activity chart/resume including any awards they have received.

    • A brief summary of the student’s history with them, including any special projects or accomplishments they had while in their class or with their organization. This could also include any challenges the student overcame during the same timeframe.

    • A copy of the student’s essay if they are submitting one for the scholarship.

    • Two copies of any forms they need to submit so they have an extra one if an error is made.

  • Follow up: Students should touch base with their recommenders one to two weeks before the recommendation is due to ensure they do not need additional information and will be able to meet the deadline.

  • Thank you note: Students should thank their recommenders for the time they have invested in their future.

Write a Thank You Note

Scholarship donors like to know their funds are making a difference. It also leaves a positive reminder of the student in their minds. One never knows who may be on another scholarship selection committee.

Turn in Necessary Documentation

Students should ask the organization what they need from them to pay their scholarship. Common items may include:

  • Address: Get scholarship funds sent to the school by providing their address (our address is DigiPen Institute of Technology, 9931 Willows Road NE, Redmond, WA 98052)

  • Student ID number/SSN

  • Acceptance letter: Some scholarships will require proof of acceptance before they provide the student funds.

  • Copy of schedule or transcript: Some scholarship organizations will not release funds until the student provides proof of enrollment. Students should request documents in a timely manner to eliminate funding delays.

Contact the Financial Aid Office

All scholarships need to be evaluated to see if any adjustments must be made to the student’s financial aid package. At DigiPen, if an adjustment must be made, we will decrease loan eligibility before grant aid when possible.

Is the Scholarship Renewable?

If so, what does one need to do to renew it? Is there a certain GPA to maintain or application to fill out? Does one need to submit a copy of one’s transcripts? Students should not miss out on renewing their scholarship by missing a deadline.

Unfortunately, there are some people who take advantage of students trying to finance their college education and cheat them out of their information and/or money. Here are some red flags to look for and what to do if one thinks they’ve encountered a scam.

  • “Guarantee”: No one can guarantee someone will win a scholarship. If someone is guaranteeing a student a scholarship, they are not being honest and it may be a scam.

  • Cost to apply: Free money should be free to apply for. Scholarship applications should not cost more than a postage stamp. If someone asks a student to pay money to apply for a scholarship, then it likely is a scam.

  • Cost for a service: Some people will claim to provide the service of finding and applying for scholarships for students. All of the information they can provide can be found for free using the steps we have outlined. Additionally, it’s unethical for someone to apply for a scholarship in another’s name as scholarship organizations want to award a scholarship to the student, not someone pretending to be the student.

  • Asking for bank account or credit card information: Legitimate scholarship organizations should not need a student’s banking or credit card information. Scholarship checks should be mailed to the student or the school they are attending.

  • Asking for a social security number: A social security number should not be needed on a scholarship application. If a scholarship application requests this number, the student should contact the provider and ask if it’s required and why. If they require it but do not know why or how it will be used, one should be wary and consider not applying. If the student is selected as a recipient, there may be a legitimate reason for them to request it, but one should always make sure and ask why they need it and how it will be used. If a student is still not satisfied with their answer, they should not provide it. It is the student’s identity; one should make sure they have a legitimate purpose for the information.

  • Think it’s a scam? Students should report it to the National Consumers League Fraud Center (www.fraud.org) and the Federal Trade Commission (www.ftc.gov).

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