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Admissions . Financing Your Education . Payment Options 

Payment Options

A tuition payment plan is an interest-free option. You can use a payment plan on its own, or combine it with financial aid, scholarships, and student loans to help minimize the amount you need to borrow.

Once you have determined your bottom line costs owed to CIA (subtracted all financial aid and awards except for cash awards and federal work study), you can customize your payment plan by choosing one of the following four options or any combination of the four. These options will help pay the balance due to the Office of Student Accounts.

Option 1: Direct Cash Payment 

If you are making a cash payment, the remaining balance is due in early August for the fall semester and mid-December for the spring semester. 

Option 2: Tuition Pay Plan

Higher One provides the TuitionPay Payment Plan, which allows CIA students to set up a monthly payment schedule. This allows you to pay for the balance on your Office of Student Accounts billing statement in monthly installments as opposed to one full payment each semester. This monthly payment plan divides your billing statement balance into more manageable payments, letting you to pay as you go from current income or savings. This is not a loan. There are no interest fees. Higher One charges a $70 fee to enroll in this plan for the year (recommended) or $40 for one semester enrollment.  When you apply you must pay the first monthly payment.

The full academic year plan, which includes fall and spring semesters, must be initiated prior to:

  • July 5 for 10-month payment plan
  • August 5 for 9-month payment plan
  • August 29, the first day of classes, for 8-month payment plan

The spring semester only payment plan must be initiated prior to:

  • December 5 for 5-month payment plan
  • January 5 for 4-month payment plan

To enroll in the TuitionPay Payment Plan, visit If you have questions or need additional assistance with setting up the payment plan, you may contact Higher One directly at 800.635.0120 or the Office of Student Accounts at 216.421.7318. 

Option 3: Parent PLUS Loan 

This loan is available to help parents of dependent undergraduate students with college expenses, such as tuition, room and board, books and supplies, and personal expenses. A parent may borrow a PLUS loan up to the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid the student receives. The student and parent must meet eligibility requirements including U.S. citizenship. Federal/Direct PLUS have a fixed interest rate of 6.84% and a 4.272% origination fee.

A CIA PLUS Application must be completed by the parent and student.

Option 4: Private Education (Alternative) Loans

This type of loan is made available by private banks to credit-worthy students (or students with credit-worthy co-borrowers), who need to borrow additional loan funds to pay for college expenses. Repayment generally does not begin until six months after graduation, although interest does accrue while the student is in school and the loan is in deferment. You are allowed to borrow a private alternative loan for an amount up to the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid you receive. 

Applications for a Private Education (Alternative) Loan must be initiated by the parent or student. Borrowers have the right to choose the lender of their choice. The Cleveland Institute of Art does not endorse any Private Education (Alternative) Loan lender. Loan information for service lenders and a link to apply for a Private Education (Alternative) Loan is available at the Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation (GLHEC) FastChoice website.

Disbursement of Financial Aid 

Financial aid awards will not be disbursed or posted to your student account until the Office of Financial Aid receives your signed Financial Aid Award letter accepting the awards or you accept the aid awarded to you online through NetPartner. Disbursement will be made to your student account beginning the third week after the start of each semester; provided all of your required financial aid documents are received and your financial aid file is complete. For your financial aid file to be considered complete, you must have returned all required and requested forms to the Office of Financial Aid, and you have completed the registration process for classes. Please follow the instructions and complete and submit all forms accessible through your MyCIA account to complete the registration process, so all aid awarded to you can be credited to your account.

Once your financial aid is credited to your account and you have more financial aid than charges on your bill, you will have a credit balance on your account.  Students who have a credit balance (sometimes called an overage) on their account are entitled to a refund. The Office of Student Accounts will issue a refund to students with a credit balance on their account once all funds are received. The credit balance will be disbursed as soon as possible, but no later than 14 days after the date the credit balance occurred on the student’s account.

Refunds are sent electronically provided students have submitted the appropriate paperwork to enable the Student Accounts Office to process the refund and send it to a student’s checking or savings account. Students who wish to receive a check will be notified via email the check is available for pick-up at the Office of Student Accounts. Unclaimed checks will be mailed to the student’s permanent address after 30 days.

Bill Payment

Billing statements for fall semester will be mailed to you in early July (New students must have paid their tuition deposit by the end of June in order to receive a fall semester bill in early July). Any questions about your billing statement and making payments should be directed to the Office of Student Accounts by calling 216.421.7318.

A CIA Education is Within Your Reach

A CIA Education is Within Your Reach

Take these simple steps to learn your options

Financial Aid Forms

Financial Aid Forms

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

Office of Financial Aid

M – F 
8:30am – 4:30pm


11610 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44106

216.421.7425 or



Still have questions?

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

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