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Admissions . Financing Your Education . Payment Options 

Paying your balance

Once you have determined what you still owe after scholarships, awards, and federal or state grants, you can create a plan using a combination of the options below.

Option 1: Monthly Payment Plan

A payment plan is an interest-free option that makes paying your remaining expenses manageable by dividing them into monthly payments. You can use a payment plan on its own, or combine it with financial aid, scholarships, and loans.

Through Transact, a third-party authorized vendor, you can set-up a monthly payment plan. This allows you to pay for the balance in monthly installments as opposed to one full payment each semester. The monthly payment plan divides your billing statement balance into more manageable payments, letting you to pay as you go. This is not a loan and there are no interest fees. There is a $50 fee per semester. Your first payment will be due when you enroll.

Billing statements are posted on myCIA.

Step-by-step guidelines to make a payment or set-up a payment plan.

If you have questions or need additional assistance with setting up the payment plan, you may contact our Office of Student Accounts at 216.421.7318 or by email

Option 2: Direct Cash Payment 

If you are making a cash payment, the remaining balance is due in early August for the fall semester and mid-December for the spring semester. 

You can also make a direct cash payment online via Transact

Option 3: Parent PLUS Loan 

This loan is available to help parents of dependent undergraduate students with college expenses, such as tuition, room and board, books and supplies, and personal expenses. A parent may borrow a PLUS loan up to the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid their student receives. The student and parent must meet eligibility requirements, including U.S. citizenship. Federal/Direct PLUS have a fixed interest rate of 8.05% and a 4.228% origination fee.

Apply for a PLUS loan online.

Option 4: Private/Alternative Education Loans

This type of loan is made available by private banks to credit-worthy students (or students with credit-worthy co-borrowers), who need to borrow additional loan funds to pay for college expenses. Repayment generally does not begin until six months after graduation, although interest does accrue while the student is in school and the loan is in deferment. You are allowed to borrow a private alternative loan for an amount up to the cost of attendance minus any other financial aid you receive. 

Applications for a Private Education Loan must be initiated by the parent or student. Borrowers have the right to choose the lender of their choice. The Cleveland Institute of Art does not endorse any Private Education Loan lender. Loan information for service lenders and a link to apply for a Private Education (Alternative) Loan is available at the Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation (GLHEC) FastChoice website.

Disbursement of Financial Aid 

Financial aid awards are posted to your student account (disbursed) until you have reviewed and accepted your financial aid award package through our online tool, Net Partner. Through Net Partner, you can review your financial aid award options, accept (or decline) each component of your award package, and see whether additional documents are needed to complete your financial aid documentation.

Disbursement will be made to your student account beginning the third week after the start of each semester; provided all of your required financial aid documents are received and your financial aid file is complete. Your financial aid file is considered complete when you have returned all required forms to the Office of Financial Aid, and have completed registration for classes. 

If you have funds remaining after your financial aid has been credited toward tuition, fees, and room and board, you will have a credit balance on your account. Students who have a credit balance (sometimes called an overage) on their account are entitled to a refund. The Office of Student Accounts will issue a refund to students with a credit balance on their account when all funds are received (there are occasional delays from funding sources). The credit balance will be disbursed as soon as possible, but no later than 14 days after the date the credit balance occurred on the student’s account.

Enrolled students will need to complete a direct deposit form to have their refund sent electronically directly to the bank account. The form can be found on myCIA (login required). 

Bill Payment

Billing statements for fall semester will be mailed in June. Contact the Office of Student Accounts at 216.421.7318 if you have any questions about your billing statement or making payments.

For more information:

Student Accounts
216.421.7318 | Contact

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Still have questions?

Visit our financial aid FAQs or read our financial aid brochure.