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Admissions . Financing Your Education 

Financing Your Education

Affording your college education really is possible here at CIA — let’s find out how

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 approach to finance your education. We are ready to answer questions and discuss any concerns regarding your ability to afford CIA, or consider special financial situations.

Our Office of Financial Aid is committed to helping you find ways to close the gap between the cost of attending CIA and your ability to fund this investment in your future. We will work with you to craft a personalized financial aid package that combines College-sponsored aid, grants, scholarshipsloans, and work-study programs

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

  • Over $6,025,017 was awarded to CIA’s 2023 incoming class.
  • 100%: percentage of Fall 2023 new students received financial aid.
  • 99%: percentage of enrolled 2023 first-year and transfer students received CIA merit scholarships.
  • 87%: percentage of enrolled first-year and transfer students for the 2022 academic year who received a merit scholarship of $15,000 or more.
  • $38,905: the average financial aid package for CIA's 2022 incoming class
  • 82%: percentage of CIA's 2022 graduates who participated in one or more internships while completing their studies at CIA.
  • Merit-based scholarships range from $18,000 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. These factors allow us to create a personalized financial aid plan to help you pursue your creative career.

How does the financial aid process work at CIA?

Applying for financial aid is a straightforward process. Apply for admission and complete your FAFSA application—no special paperwork is needed. You will automatically be consiered for financial aid upon acceptance to the College.

Once we have received your FAFSA, we'll prepare a Financial Aid Award Notification to send to you. This notification will include (pending eligibility) federal, state, and CIA-funded sources of financial aid.


Priority deadlines for applicants for admission are provided in the chart below.  

Early Action Decision December 1 May 1*
Regular Decision March 1 May 1
Spring Transfer November 15 January 5
Fall Transfer June 1 August 1


*Because of challenges with the new FAFSA, CIA has extended its Deposit Priority Deadline to June 1, 2024.

Financial aid while studying abroad

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.

Office of Student Accounts

8:30am - 4:30pm


or 800.223.4700

Net Price Calculator

Estimate your cost of attendance using this net price calculator.

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.