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Admissions . Financing Your Education 

Financing Your Education

Together, We Can Fund Your Future

We understand that paying for college is not easy. At Cleveland Institute of Art, we pride ourselves in offering a personal touch to a potentially confusing process—financing your education. We are ready to clarify tricky topics, answer questions, 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: 

  • 94%: percentage of CIA students who receive financial assistance 
  • 210+: number of awards and scholarships available to current students
  • 85%: percentage of students who enrolled for the 2015-16 academic year and received a CIA merit scholarship
  • 54%: percentage of students who enrolled for the 2015-16 academic year and received a merit scholarship of $15,000 or more
  • $35,553: the average financial aid package for CIA's incoming class who began classes in August, 2015.
  • 80%: percentage of CIA's 2013 graduates who participated in one or more internships while completing their studies at CIA.
  • $35,980 was the full-time tuition (between 12- 18 credit hours) for the 2015-16 academic year.

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 three case studies below for more information, or download a PDF copy of our Affordability Brochure.

How Does the Financial Aid Process Work at CIA?

Once you have received an acceptance letter from CIA, you may be eligible for federal financial assistance if you:

  • are a U.S. citizen
  • have a high school diploma or general equivalency credentials (GED)
  • have registered for the draft if you are a male between ages 18 and 26 (see
  • maintain satisfactory academic progress
  • qualify for need-based assistance through the Free Application for Federal Student Assistance (FAFSA)

You should complete and submit the FAFSA by the March 15 priority deadline. Some aid (Perkins, CIA Grants and other need-based CIA funds, FWS) is only awarded to on-time applicants.

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.  Here is what you need to get your FSA ID:

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


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 CIA Education is Within Your Reach

A CIA Education is Within Your Reach

Take these simple steps to learn your options

Office of Financial Aid

M – F 
8:30am – 4:30pm


11610 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44106

216.421.7425 or



Financial Aid Forms

Financial Aid Forms

Click here to access important financial aid forms, publications, and links for more information.

Still Have Questions?

Visit our financial aid FAQs or read our financial aid brochure.

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Support CIA

Show the world creativity matters: make a gift to the annual fund.

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2017 Faculty Exhibition

CIA’s Faculty Exhibition is on view in Reinberger Gallery through October 8.

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Cores + Connections

Creating. Connecting. Building better futures.