UMBC Chess Scholarships

Chess-Player Scholar. These awards range from $1,000 to $15,000 for Maryland residents, or $1,000 to $22,000 for out-of-state students per academic year. Offered to a limited number of incoming freshmen (not transfer students) with outstanding academic records and high chess ratings (over USCF 2000). We prefer SAT test scores over 1400 (math + critical reading). Although these awards do not include “full ride” options, the higher level awards are close to full coverage. In return, each Chess-Player Scholar performs 100 hours of community service through chess each year (e.g., simuls, lectures, teaching chess).

Chess Fellow. UMBC awards a limited number of fixed dollar* tuition awards plus food and housing stipends of approximately $15,000/year. UMBC also provides some funds for travel to chess tournaments. Candidates must be good students with extraordinary chess ratings (over FIDE 2400). In return, each fellow performs 100 hours of community service through chess each year (e.g., simuls, lectures, teaching chess).

Typically, graduate students are supported by their department as research (RA) or teaching assistants (TA). A typical RA/TA receives tuition, stipend, and health benefits. The Chess Fellow is the only UMBC chess scholarship available to graduate students, and it can supplement other support.

ELIGIBILITY. Players and applicants must satisfy the eligibility requirements for college chess established by the U.S. Chess Federation (USCF). More information is available at and In particular, for titled players, undergraduates should be under 26 years of age by September 1st. Graduate students should be under 30 years of age by September 1st. Additionally, UMBC requires all scholarship students to be full time and to maintain a grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a 4-point scale). Foreign students are encouraged to apply.

(*Full tuition for first year and the same dollar amount for each subsequent year.)


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