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Financing Your Education

Together, We Can Fund Your Future

We understand that paying for college is not easy. At the Cleveland Institute of Art, we pride ourselves in offering a personal touch to finance your education. We are ready to clarify any requirements in the application process, answer questions, and discuss any concerns regarding your ability to afford CIA, or consider special financial situations.

Mission Statement

The Office of Financial Aid strives to balance responsible stewardship of all financial aid funding with the culture of student-centric values.  We strive to be a leader in financial aid services when measured against peer institutions by using technology to streamline financial aid processes and focusing on student centric service. We constantly evaluate the best ways to meet challenges resulting from changes in federal, state, institutional and private funding policies and procedures as well as economic changes.  Our goal is to operate efficiently so that institutional resources are used wisely and students may pursue their academic goals without distraction.

Core Values

The core values of the Office of Financial Aid are:
Clear and Effective Communication
Continuous Improvement
Customer Focus
Mutual Respect
Staff Development

Our Office of Financial Aid staff is committed to helping you find ways to close the gap between the cost of attending the Institute and your ability to fund this education. We will work with you to craft a personalized financial aid package that combines any available Institute-sponsored aid, federal aidscholarshipsloans, and work study programs

As you begin to make important choices, keep in mind these numbers: 

  • 95%: percentage of CIA students who receive financial assistance 
  • 185+: number of awards and scholarships available to current students
  • 84%: percentage of students who enrolled for the 2017-18 academic year and received a CIA merit scholarship
  • 57%: percentage of students who enrolled for the 2017-18 academic year and received a merit scholarship of $15,000 or more.
  • Over $6,747,000 was awarded to CIA’s incoming class with first year status.
  • $39,002: the average financial aid package for CIA's incoming class with first year status, who began classes on August 28, 2017.
  • 80%: percentage of CIA's 2013 graduates who participated in one or more internships while completing their studies at CIA.
  • $37,980 is the full-time tuition (between 12- 18 credit hours) for the 2017-18 academic year.
  • Merit-based Scholarships range from $6,000 to full-tuition.

Discover Actual Cost

CIA is a private college and, unlike most public colleges, can reduce the cost of tuition based on a student's portfolio, academic and financial profile. See the information included in the Investing in Your Future: Understanding Your Financial Aid Award brochure.

How Does the Financial Aid Process Work at CIA?

To be eligible to receive federal student aid, you must:

  • Be a citizen or eligible noncitizen of the United States.
  • Have a valid Social Security Number. (Students from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau are exempt from this requirement.)
  • Have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate, or have completed homeschooling. If you don’t, you may still be eligible for federal student aid if you were enrolled in college or career school prior to July 1, 2012. Go to for additional information.
  • Be enrolled in an eligible program as a regular student seeking a degree or certificate.
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress.
  • Not owe a refund on a federal student grant or be in default on a federal student loan.
  • Register (or already be registered) with the Selective Service System, if you are a male and not currently on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces. (Students from the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands and the Republic of Palau are exempt from registering; see for more information.)
  • Not have a conviction for the possession or sale of illegal drugs for an offense that occurred while you were receiving federal student aid (such as grants, work-study, or loans). If you have such a conviction, you must complete the Student Aid Eligibility Worksheet to determine if you are eligible for aid or partially eligible for aid.

Many types of federal student aid, such as the Federal Pell Grant or subsidized loans where the government pays the interest while you are in college, also require you to have financial need. Additionally, once you have a bachelor’s degree or a first professional degree, you are generally not eligible for Pell or Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG).

Other requirements may apply. Contact our Office of Financial Aid for more information.


If you (and one of your parents if you are a dependent student) have not yet obtained a Federal Student Aid ID visit to learn about and create a FSA ID.

To obtain a Federal Student Aid ID, you will need:

  • your Social Security Number (you must have a social security number to get an FSA ID)
  • your full name (must match your Social Security Card)
  • your date of birth

Do not share your FSA ID with anyone. A single email address only may be associated with an FSA ID. Parents and students cannot share an email address.

Priority Deadlines

Priority deadlines for applicants for admission are provided in the chart below. The financial aid priority deadline for currently enrolled students to submit the FAFSA is March 152.

 Application Priority Deadline1,2FAFSA Priority Deadline3Notification On or AboutPriority Deposit Deadline4
Early Action 1 December 1 December 15 January 15 May 1
Early Action 2 January 15 February 1 February 15 May 1
Regular Decision March 1 March 15 April 1 May 1
Spring Transfer November 15 November 15 Rolling December 1
Fall Transfer June 1 June 1 Rolling August 1

1 CIA’s application fee is waived for candidates who apply before the deadline.
Candidates who apply after the deadline will be considered on a rolling basis.
3 Students who wish full consideration for CIA merit and need-based aid should submit their FAFSA by the priority deadline listed.  Students will be awarded Federal Work Study based on a funds-available basis with preference given to students who meet the priority deadline.
4 Enrollment deposits received after the Priority Deposit Deadline will only be accepted on a space-available basis.

Financial Aid During International and Domestic Study

If you plan on studying abroad while remaining a degree-seeking student at CIA, it may be possible to receive financial aid through CIA. Most students will not be able to retain the same aid package when studying elsewhere (including CIA Merit scholarships), but certain types of aid and loans may be available.

To be eligible for financial aid while not enrolled for classes at CIA, the foreign institution that you will be attending must have a U.S. Department of Education Title IV School Code, and you must meet specific enrollment, passport/visa, and financial requirements. This process takes planning and additional paperwork has to be processed, so please contact the Office of Financial Aid for details as soon as possible.

CIA Financial Aid Office Promise

We promise to assist you in achieving your educational goals by providing guidance and support in paying for your education. Through teamwork, we will promote professional and technical enhancements in an effort to be timely and accurate in the administration of financial aid. Each financial aid employee is held to the highest ethical principles as defined by our code of conduct.

Learn More

Read about applying for financial aid, our application checklist and deadlines, loans or payment plan options. If you have any questions or need additional assistance, please contact our Office of Financial Aid. We look forward to helping you in whatever way we can to make this often confusing process as easy and simple as possible.

A premier college of art and design.
11610 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland OH 44106 USA

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