Gamers and programmers who are interested in pursuing video game development as their college focus have an opportunity to do so with the help of Sony Online Entertainment. College students can now apply for the fourth annual Gamers In Real Life (G.I.R.L.) scholarship at https://www.scholarshipamerica.org/gamersinreallife. One lucky student will receive $10,000 toward tuition and educational expenses as well as a paid internship of up 10 weeks at an SOE development studio.

“The most recent industry studies show that although a large percentage of the game playing population is female, they make up only about one in every 10 game developers,” said Laura Naviaux, vice president of global sales and marketing at SOE. “For the fourth year in a row, SOE is committed to encouraging women to pursue an exciting and rewarding career of developing fun and innovative games for everyone.”

SOE is partnering with Scholarship America, which is a leading non-profit education support program, to encourage students to pursue a career in the video game industry.

To be eligible to participate, entrants must be currently enrolled in an undergraduate program related to video games, including video game art, design, animation, production, programming or visual effects, must not graduate before the end of the 2012 spring term and must comply with the program’s official rules. Entrants are required to complete an online application along with two pieces of original concept art and one essay that will be reviewed by a panel of judges. Online applications must be completed and submitted on or before April 6, 2011. SOE will announce the winner on or about May 16, 2011.

Editor’s Note: After quickly skimming the rules, it does not appear that entrants are required to be female to participate, though male students interested in the scholarship should verify this information.