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August 20, 2018
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College students who've swapped degrees for a life of video gaming can't be shamed anymore. The University of Akron is also swapping out 80 of its degree programs, building three state-of-the-art gaming spaces for its new esports teams instead.

The Ohio school announced the money-saving measure last week, revealing it'll phase out unpopular degrees to focus on stronger programs, The Chronicle of Higher Education reports. Targeted programs include a Ph.D in electrical engineering and a bachelor's degree in interior design. The low-enrollment programs are available at similar institutions, and cutting them will save about $6 million to devote to other priorities, Akron explains.

One of those priorities? Video games. About $750,000 will go toward transforming three rooms into video gaming spaces, creating "the largest amount of dedicated esports space of any university in the world to date," the university says. Another $400,000 will be spent on operating costs each year, plus $70,000 for game licenses, league dues, and more, the Chronicle reports.

While Akron is drawing a lot of flack for the announcement, it's not an unusual move. Several other colleges have sprouted esports teams and facilities over the past few years, and Akron is just taking it to a new level, the Chronicle points out.

With any luck, this investment will make the eZips more successful than their real-football-playing counterparts. Kathryn Krawczyk