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Admissions . Financing Your Education . Applying for Financial Aid 

Applying for Financial Aid

Your education is an investment in your future as an artist or designer, and when you enroll at the Cleveland Institute of Art, you’re choosing the very best.

We’re here to help

Whether you have questions about completing the FAFSA or want to review your Financial Aid Award Letter, don't hesitate to email or call with questions.

Step 1 (optional): Download the myStudentAid app

Users of iOS or Android-compatible mobile devices can complete the FAFSA using the myStudentAid app. Download the myStudentAid app from the Apple App Store (iOS) or Google Play (Android). The myFAFSA component—which is used to complete the FAFSA, is the app's featured function. (Note: if you downloaded the app prior to October 1, 2018, you must download an update to access the 2019–20 FAFSA form.) Learn more about the myStudentAid app.

You can also use the myStudentAid app to manage your FSA ID username and password, as well as access the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) to electronically transfer federal tax return information into your FAFSA form.

Step 2: Obtain an FSA ID

You (or both you and your parents, if you are a dependent student), must have a Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID) before you can complete the FAFSA.

Use the myStudentAid app or visit to create (or retrieve) your FSA ID. An FSA ID can only be associated with one email address, so student and parents can not share an email address.

Your FSA ID will include a personal username and password. You will use this FSA ID to complete the FAFSA each year while you're a college student. It is also used for other government financial aid-related websites.

To create your FSA ID, you will need:

  • Your social security number
  • Your full name (matching what is on your social security card)
  • Your birth date

Step 3: Complete the FAFSA

Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) using the myStudentAid app or by visiting As a reminder, you'll need your FSA ID and password (Step 1, above) in order to complete the FAFSA. 

CIA's FAFSA college code is 003982.

Complete your FAFSA as soon as possible

Completing your FAFSA early allows us to base your financial aid award on the most financial assistance possible from federal, state, and school-funded sources. We cannot create a financial aid award package for you without a completed FAFSA on file.

IRS Data Retrieval Tool
We recommend that you use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (IRS DRT) when prompted to complete the FAFSA. This online tool is the easiest and most accurate way to import your previous-year tax return information into your FAFSA.

Renewal FAFSA
If you completed the FAFSA last year, you should be able to complete the Renewal FAFSA. The Renewal FAFSA is much easier, faster, and more accurate to complete, as many of the fields will pre-populate with your data from last year's FAFSA.

Step 4: Review and accept your financial aid award

Once we receive your FAFSA information, one of our financial aid counselors will review your FAFSA to determine eligibility for federal, state, and CIA-funded sources of financial aid. A Financial Aid Award Letter will be sent to you which will show the sources of financial aid that you are eligible to receive. The award letter will also let you know if there are any documents that we need you to complete.

Reviewing and accepting your financial aid

Once you've reviewed your Financial Aid Award Letter, you should review and accept the award online at NetPartner.

To access NetPartner for the first time:

  • Visit
  • In the User Name field, enter your CIA Student ID (found on your Financial Aid Award Letter)
  • Click "First Time User" at the bottom of the login box
  • Answer the security questions, and create your User password 

Step 5: Complete master promissory note and entrance counseling for student loans

If you accept Federal Direct Student Loans as part of your financial aid package, you'll need to complete entrance counseling and the Federal Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) online at These should be complete no later than August 1 to ensure that your loan funds will be disbursed in a timely manner.

Step 6 (optional): PLUS loan application

A Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Student (PLUS) is a cost-effective solution for parents to keep their student's debt as manageable as possible. Parents of dependent children may apply for these low-interest loans.

To initiate a PLUS application, complete the CIA PLUS Application and submit to CIA's Office of Financial Aid. Data from this application will be transmitted electronically to the US Department of Education where a credit check and other eligibility will be evaluated.

If the PLUS is approved, and the parent borrower is a first-time borrower for their student, the parent borrower will need to complete a Parent PLUS Master Promissory Note (PLUS MPN). The PLUS MPN can be completed online at


Freshman and transfer students
New applicants for admission to CIA should submit the FAFSA by the priority deadline shown in the chart below.

Continuing Students
The priority deadline to submit the FAFSA for currently enrolled students is March 15 each academic year. March 1 is the deadline to submit the FAFSA in order to be considered for academic department scholarships which have financial need criteria. All currently enrolled students are encouraged to submit the FAFSA as soon as possible after it becomes available on October 1 of each year.

 Application Priority DeadlineFAFSA Priority DeadlineNotification On or AboutPriority Deposit Deadline
Early Action 1 December 1 December 15 January 15 May 1
Early Action 2 January 15 February 1 February 15 May 1
Regular Decision March 1 March 15 April 1 May 1
Spring Transfer November 15 November 15 Rolling December 1
Fall Transfer June 1 June 1 Rolling August 1


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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.