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March 27, 2012


Media Contact:
Julie Calzone
337-235-2924 ext. 18
AIE Contact:
Dr. Christopher Erhardt
Academy of Interactive Entertainment Announces New Scholarship Program for Seattle and Lafayette High School Graduates
SEATTLE & LAFAYETTE, La., Mar 22, 2012 -- Founders of the Academy of Interactive Entertainment, John and Vicki De Margheriti have big plans for Seattle and Lafayette High School students and Thursday announced a series of new in-house undergraduate scholarships providing value up to $2 Million dollars for Seattle and Lafayette High School graduates. The scholarships provided by this non-profit organization are an outreach to the community aimed at encouraging the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs. Public and private schools in Seattle and Lafayette will be eligible to receive 2 AIE Community Outreach Scholarships to be awarded to their qualified students for commencement of study at the AIE in September, 2012. The scholarships are enough to fund half of a student’s first year of study of an advanced diploma course at AIE Seattle or Lafayette Campus.
“AIE is making an investment into Seattle and Lafayette High School graduates to encourage future innovation and business growth within their film and game development communities,” said John De Margheriti, Chairman of the AIE.
Jake Higgins, a former student of Lake Tuggeranong College in Australia who was awarded a Scholarship from AIE and commenced his study earlier this year, had the following to say about the opportunity he was given:
“I have wanted to study at AIE since I was six years old. The scholarship for the Advanced Diploma of Professional Game Development (specializing in art) that I received has opened up the door for me to do what I love beyond all else. My college [High School] teachers saw the small FPS that I developed as part of an assignment in Unity and thought I would be a great match for the course. After the course, I would love to become a modeler. I am learning new skills all the time - over the next two years I know I will find my niche in the industry.”
The Academy of Interactive Entertainment (AIE) specializes in teaching students industry ready skills in the areas of animation, game design and visual FX. They are known catalysts for creating practical, cutting-edge and industry focused courses that have resulted in an enviable employment uptake of its graduates.
An information session will be hosted on Wednesday March 28th at the Academy’s new Seattle Campus where Dr Christopher Erhardt, US Head of School, will talk to interested schools directly about how their students can take advantage of the offer. On Wednesday April 4th at the LITE center (home of the AIE Lafayette Campus), Dr. Erhardt will talk to interested schools in Acadiana Territory about this innovative educational option.
Having already founded several successful businesses of their own, including BigWorld Pty Ltd (a middleware technology company), Micro Forte Pty Ltd (a computer game development studio) and three Australian AIE educational campuses, Mr. and Mrs. De Margheriti know exactly what it takes to survive and thrive in the computer game development industry. They want the very best and brightest students to be encouraged and recognized for their academic achievements as they leave High School by offsetting some of the financial burden of their further education.
The Academy of Interactive Entertainment also privately funded the attendance of over 50 Australian Business Incubator students to attend the 2012 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco earlier this month as part of an ongoing business incubator program available to all AIE Advanced Diploma Graduates.
Additionally, the Academy has a range of need and merit based scholarships available and anyone seeking information or advice on those should contact the AIE directly.
For more information about the AIE Community Outreach Scholarships, contact Dr. Christopher Erhardt at the AIE at 206-428-6350 or visit
About AIE: The Academy of Interactive Entertainment (AIE) is Australia's most awarded educator for the animation, game development and visual effects industries and now has campuses in Seattle and Lafayette. AIE courses are practical, 100% relevant and delivered by industry-experienced teachers in a seriously fun and creatively demanding studio environment. AIE is a not-for-profit organization, for more information visit


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