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Admissions . Financing Your Education . Loans 


An education loan is a form of financial aid that must be repaid with interest. Education loans come in three major categories: federal student loans, federal parent loans, and private education loans.

Federal Student loans

The Federal Direct Loan program offers subsidized and unsubsidized loans to students who demonstrate financial need based on the results of the FAFSA.

  • Subsidized loan interest is deferred while the student is in school.
  • Unsubsidized loan interest is not deferred while the student is in school. 

Federal Parent PLUS loans

The Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) is a cost-effective solution for parents to help keep their student's debt burden as manageable as possible. Parents of dependent children may apply for these low-interest loans. Funds from PLUS can only be used to pay expenses such as tuition, room and board, books and supplies, and personal expenses related to attending college.

The PLUS loan may be borrowed up to the cost of attendance (COA) minus any other financial aid the student receives. The loan is subject to a credit check and other eligibility requirements, including US citizenship.

Applying for a PLUS Loan

Private/Alternative education loans

Private education (alternative) loans are offered by private banks to credit-worthy students or to credit-worthy students with a credit-worthy co-borrower. Students are encouraged to apply with a credit-worthy co-borrower to enhance their chances of having their loan approved and qualifying for the lowest interest rate possible. 

Federal Direct Loans typically have a lower interest rate than private loans, so students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA to determine if they qualify for Federal Direct Loans before applying for private loans. 

To compare a private education loan vs a parent PLUS loan, click here.

You can compare information and apply for some private education loans through the Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation FastChoice website.

The Cleveland Institute of Art does not endorse any private education loan lender. 

Office of Financial Aid

Schedule an appointment



216.421.7425 or


11610 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44106

For more information:

Delores Hall
Associate Director of Financial Aid
216.421.7423 | Contact

- OR -

Caprice Odom
Financial Aid Counselor
216.421.8024 | Contact

- OR -

Tricia Pangonis
216.421.7424 | Contact