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Story: Sep 26, 2014

CIA's Community Works series focuses on socially engaged art...

View details 2014 Faculty Exhibition

CIA Exhibition: Aug 28, 2014

2014 Faculty Exhibition

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Story: Sep 22, 2014

Television and film writer teaching narrative writing at CIA

View details Lunch On Fridays: Haishan Deng

Events: Oct 03, 2014

Lunch On Fridays: Haishan Deng

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Social: a day ago via Facebook

Rachel Lamping '14 won first place and the audience favorite award at the California International Animation Festival 2014 for her 2D animation, "Different Not ...

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Story: Sep 16, 2014

CIA Professor Tina Cassara inspires Sculpture Center exhibit...

View details CIA Portfolio Day

Events: Oct 11, 2014

CIA Portfolio Day

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Story: Aug 27, 2014

New residence hall welcomes first-year students in comfort, ...

View details A Creative Life featuring Paul Yanko

Events: Oct 18, 2014 @ William Busta Gallery in Cleveland, OH

A Creative Life featuring Paul Yanko

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Blog: Sep 30, 2014

Bound by Flesh (2012) trailer

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Story: Aug 18, 2014

CIA again named to "Best in the Midwest" list

View details Unruly Engagements Conference

Events: Nov 06, 2014 @ Cleveland Institute of Art in Cleveland, OH

Unruly Engagements Conference

Admissions . Financing Your Education . Scholarships 


The 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.

Internal Scholarships

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 Merit Scholarships 

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.

CIA Honorary Scholarships 

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. 

Departmental Awards

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. 

Biomedical Art
Game Design
Graphic Design
Industrial Design
Interior Architecture
Jewelry + Metals
Photography + Video
Sculpture + Expanded Media

External Scholarships

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.

External Scholarship Board

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. 

Scholarship Resources 

Cleveland Foundation
College Board
Mach 25
Nerd Scholar
Sallie Mae's Scholarship Search
Scholarships 4 Students
Scholarships on Zinch
Student Scholarships
Charter One TruFit Good Citizen Scholarship

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


11141 East Blvd
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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Community Works

Visiting artists, exhibitions, conference and symposia exploring socially engaged art.

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Uptown Residence Hall

Check out the new student digs.

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Cores + Connections

Learn more about CIA's proven method for academic and professional excellence.