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Admissions . Financing Your Education . Your Financial Aid Award 

2021-22 Financial Aid

Understanding your Financial Aid Award

Applying for financial aid doesn't have to be daunting. Our team of financial aid counselors are here to answer questions and help you navigate the process. Don't hesitate to reach out if you have questions or want to discuss the process in more detail.

The Financial Aid Award Letter

Your Financial Aid Award Letter is created based on the results of your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Without the FAFSA, we're unable to create a personalized financial aid award for you. If you haven't completed your FAFSA, please start there; information on next steps is at applying for financial aid.

Cost of Education
The first section of the Award Letter is a breakdown of the Cost of Education. These numbers are estimated, and final costs will be posted online when they're confirmed. They're used as a basis to determine financial aid eligibility. 

Financial Aid Award
The next section of the Award Letter presents what aid you are eligible for, based on the data submitted through your FAFSA. Aid can include federal, state, CIA- and private-funded sources of financial aid. This aid may include loans, grants, and scholarships, and Federal Work-Study.

You can read more about your financial aid award package on Net Partner, where you will review and accept your financial aid.

Review and accept your financial aid award

Net Partner is an online portal where you can review and learn more about the aid awarded to you, determine what what documents are needed in order for us to complete your financial aid award, and most importantly, accept your financial aid package. Login to Net Partner at

If you are logging into NetPartner for the first time:

  • Enter your CIA Student ID, which is found on your Financial Aid Award Letter from CIA, into the User Name box
  • Click “First Time User” in the login box
  • Answer the security questions, and create your Net Partner password

Missing documents

Your Award Letter may have listed “Missing Documents.” You can read more about what documents we'll need from you, and where to find them, in Net Partner. It is important to submit these documents before May 1.

Verfication from the US Department of Education

The US Department of Education selects students for verification to determine financial aid eligibility. The verification process requires that our financial aid counselors obtain and review additional documentation and, based on our review, finalize your financial aid eligibility. Read more about the Verification process here

As soon as the verification process has been completed, you will notified by the Office of Financial Aid to review and accept your financial aid award online at Net Partner.

If you are selected for verification, you'll need to submit a 2020-21 Verification Worksheet (dependent student form or independent student form). We may also ask for additional information to complete the verification process. This additional information may include:

  • Your 2019 IRS Tax transcript or a copy of your 2019 tax return

  • Your parents' 209 IRS Tax Transcript or a copy of their 2019 tax return

  • A Low Income Verification Form (dependent student or independent student form) if the income provided on the FAFSA is below the Federal poverty levels

  • Students and/or their parents who did not or were not required to submit an IRS Tax Return must provide documentation from the IRS indicating that an income tax return was not filed. You can obtain the letter from the IRS by completing an IRS form 4506-T and checking box 7. You can download the IRS 4506-T form here.


Federal Student and Parent Loans

If you choose to accept Subsidized and/or Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans you will need to complete a Federal Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) (sometimes called a Loan Agreement for a Subsidized and/or Unsubsidized Federal Loan) and Entrance Counseling. Your loan(s) will not be disbursed unless both documents are completed. Loans will be cancelled if both documents are not completed prior to October 1.

  • The Federal Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) is a legal document in which you promise to repay your federal student loan(s) and any accrued interest and fees to your lender or loan holder. There is one MPN for Federal Direct Subsidized/ Unsubsidized Loans and a different MPN for Federal Direct PLUS Loans. Most schools are authorized to make multiple federal student loans under one MPN for up to 10 years.

  • Entrance Counseling is a tool the US Department of Education offers that helps first-time loan recipients at CIA understand their rights, responsibilities, and obligations you have as a student loan recipient.

  • Use your FSA ID User Name and Password to login and and complete your Federal Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling at the Federal Student Loans website. 

    For more information regarding loans for students and parent borrowers, visit our Loans page.


Other Financing Options

We’re glad to discuss with you options for financing what you might still owe after receiving your financial aid award. Options include payment plans, private scholarships and loans, the Federal Parent PLUS program, and private education loans. Often a combination of these options work best for many families.


Tuition Payment Plan

The Cashnet Payment Plan is available to make monthly payments over the course of the semester or entire school year. The payment plan is interest free; there is a $70 enrollment fee payable with your first monthly installment. Payments are made electronically for either 10, 9 or 8 months for an academic year and either 5 or 4 months if you apply for one semester. Deadlines to apply are as follows: 

Payment Plan OptionNumber of paymentsDeadline to enroll
Full academic year payment plan 10
July 5
August 5
September 5
Fall only payment plan 5
July 5
August 5
Spring-only payment plan 5
December 5
January 5


Enroll for the Cashnet Payment Plan at Select Cleveland Institute of Art from the drop down list of schools. 

PLUS Loans

Federal Direct Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) are made to parents of dependent undergraduate students to help pay for education expenses not covered by other financial aid. 

Parents can apply for the PLUS by submitting the CIA PLUS Application. Information from this form will be sent electronically to the US Department of Education where a credit check will occur. If the credit check is approved, the parent borrower on the application will receive an email with instructions to complete the Parent PLUS Master Promissory Note. The parent will need their FSA ID User name and Password to access the Parent PLUS MPN.

Applicants who have an adverse credit history must meet additional requirements to qualify. Students whose parents are denied the PLUS can borrow additional Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans ($4,000 for freshmen and sophomores; $5,000 for juniors and seniors).

Private Education Loans

Private Education Loans (alterative loans) are made available by private banks and lenders to credit-worthy students or students with credit worthy co-borrowers) who need an additional student loan to pay for college expenses. Students can borrow up to the Cost of Attendance minus the total of any other scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study you are receiving.

Students considering applying for a Private Education Loan are encouraged to use the Fast Choice comparison tool, which compares important information regarding loans from several lenders. You can access Fast Choice at

Our Scholarships page offers a partial list of external scholarships.


We're here to help

Don't hesitate to reach out if you have questions, want clarification, or just some advice. 

Office of Financial Aid

Schedule a virtual appointment



216.421.7425 or


11610 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44106

Bridging the Gap

I’ve received a financial aid award letter—what do I do next? Join us for an information session to help you navigate the financial aid process.