Cleveland Institute of Art offers an extensive merit recognition program, using endowed scholarships and other private monies to support our students. CIA Merit Scholarships are offered to many students when they are accepted for admission. Most academic departments award department and donor scholarships to eligible students. These scholarships are typically either merit-based or merit and need-based. Most CIA Merit Scholarships require a 3.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA) to renew the scholarship (Dean's Scholarships require a 2.6 cumulative GPA to renew). All scholarship require full time attendance (minimum 12 credit hours each semester) and are restricted for no more than 8 semesters.
CIA merit, department, and donor scholarships do not need to be repaid and are based on academic qualifications, such as grades, test scores, major, and artistic talent exhibited in a student's portfolio.
CIA offers extensive merit recognition to students at all levels. New students are considered automatically for some of our internal scholarships. Returning students may apply and compete for many additional awards. Internal scholarships fall into three categories: awards for new students (e.g., Merit Awards and CIA Honorary Scholarships), Institute-wide awards, and departmental awards.
CIA’s Office of Admissions offers first-time freshmen and transfer students an opportunity to compete for renewable merit awards based on strength of their portfolio and academic achievement, which include CIA President's Scholarship, CIA Gund Family Scholarship, and CIA Dean's Scholarship.
Newly admitted freshman and transfer students automatically are considered for CIA Merit Scholarships when they apply and are accepted for admission to CIA. New students who do not receive a CIA Merit Scholarship can be considered for a need-based CIA Grant by submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
All CIA Merit Scholarship recipients must be enrolled full time at CIA and maintain a minimum grade point average as outlined in your Scholarship Award Notification letter. Awards range from $7,500 to full tuition annually. For more information, contact our Office of Admissions.
If your fall semester grades are in the top 25% of your class, you can compete for a CIA Honorary Scholarship. In the spring semester, all students who meet eligibility criteria will be invited to apply by the Office of Academic Affairs. A jury selects two winners per class. Winners are announced at the annual spring awards ceremony. Historically, winners received $2,000 towards the next academic year. Two honorary recipients will be selected as Clara Rust Brigham award winners and receive larger award amounts.
During the spring semester, individual academic departments award merit or merit/need-based scholarships and grants to currently enrolled students. Departmental scholarships and grants are awarded by each academic department and are based on your major.
Applying for Departmental Awards
To demonstrate financial need eligibility, you first must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Then, contact individual departments during the spring semester to apply for departmental awards.
Previously, CIA has awarded more than $230,000 annually in departmental awards to returning students. Award winners typically are chosen by departmental faculty committees, and winners are announced at the CIA Awards Ceremony held every spring semester.
To see a list of grants and scholarships offered by each department, visit your major's scholarship page below.
Jewelry + Metals
Photography + Video
Sculpture + Expanded Media
We encourage you to apply for external scholarships to supplement any CIA-based aid you might receive. To be considered for external scholarship support, you should contact various funding organizations and follow their application procedures. You also can view a list of external scholarship resources below.
When organizations send scholarship information to the Office of Financial Aid, we post the information on the scholarship board located inside the Office of Admissions. You may pick up available applications at the Office of Financial Aid.
Hispanic Scholarship Fund
Sallie Mae's Scholarship Search
Scholarships 4 Students
Scholarships on Zinch
Take these simple steps to learn your options
Click here to access important financial aid forms, publications, and links for more information.
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