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AIAS taking applications for 2014-15 scholarships in gaming careers

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Applications are now open for the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences' 2014-15 academic scholarship program, which provides aid to college students pursuing careers in the video game industry, the AIAS announced today.

The AIAS Foundation, the organization's philanthropic branch, runs the scholarship program. Applicants vie for a total of four $2,500 scholarships, two each for the two scholarships in the initiative.

The Randy Pausch scholarship was established in 2008 in memory of Dr. Randy Pausch, who was a professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University and co-founder of the school's Entertainment Technology Center. In 2010, the foundation created the Mark Beaumont scholarship to honor the memory of Mark Beaumont, who had served as the chief operating officer of Capcom for North America and Europe.

The Pausch scholarship is given to individuals studying to become game developers, including students in fields such as art, animation and programming; the Beaumont scholarship is intended for students looking to enter the business sector of the gaming industry, with career tracks such as law, marketing and public relations.

"The Academy Foundation Scholarships encourage the most gifted and committed students planning careers in interactive entertainment, and represent a central pillar of our mission," said Don Daglow, president of the AIAS Foundation and CEO of Daglow Entertainment, in a press release today. "The future of our industry will be created by the students of today, and it is only through the development of new professionals that we can influence that future."

In addition to the aforementioned financial component, each scholarship comes with a full pass to the DICE Summit, a key networking conference for industry professionals that is typically held in Las Vegas in early February. Applicants to the 2014-15 scholarships must be full-time students at a college or university in the U.S. and hold a GPA of at least 3.3. Applications for both scholarships are available on the AIAS website. The deadline is June 30.

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