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Admissions . Tuition + Fees . Refund + Repayment Policies 

Refund and Repayment Policies

A student who withdraws from the College before 60% of the semester has passed falls under the Return of Title IV/Institutional Refunds policy. The Financial Aid Office will determine how much aid the student has earned at the time of withdrawal and how much aid must be returned using the Return of Title IV Funds software program.  The Business Office will determine how much, if any, the student will still owe the school.   

A Return to Title IV calculation must be completed within 30 days. All Title IV funds must be returned within 45 days. If the R2T4 calculation results in a credit balance on the student’s account, the credit balance will be disbursed as soon as possible but no later than 14 days after the calculation of R2T4. If the R2T4 calculation results in an amount to be returned that exceeds the school’s portion, the Cleveland Institute of Art will return the amount to the federal programs on behalf of the student and the student must repay the funds to the Cleveland Institute of Art.

Official Withdrawal

When a student withdraws from a school, the U. S. Department of Education has very strict rules that financial aid offices must follow to determine the amount of funding that a student earns as of the date of his/her withdrawal.  Funds that are not earned must be returned to the U. S. Department of Education and other sources of funding.  The rules require that the school determine the last day the student attended class. At CIA, the date of withdrawal is established by the last date the student attended class as reported by faculty to either the Registrar or the Academic Services Offices. 

Students who withdraw from all courses and leave either the residence hall or CIA Apartments, will be charged for tuition, applicable fees, room and board (meal plan) based on the following schedule:

Meal Plan
First week 0% 0% Daily rate x # days in room Calculated by CWRU
Second week 10% 10% Daily rate x # days in room Calculated by CWRU
Third week 25% 100% 100% 100%
Fourth week 50% 100% 100% 100%
Fifth week 75% 100% 100% 100%
Weeks thereafter 100% 100% 100% 100%


The withdrawal date is provided to the Office of Financial Aid to determine the percentage of the term the student completed. Based on the date the student last attended classes, the Office of Financial Aid is required by the U.S. Department of Education to determine how many days of the semester passed when the student stopped attending class. This number is divided into the number of days in the semester which the student was attending to determine the percentage of the semester the student completed. If the withdrawal occurs after 60% of the term has elapsed, no return of federal funds is required.

The CIA Financial Aid office uses the Department of Education's Return of Title IV Aid Web product. It is accessible via the Federal Common Origination and Disbursement site.

The Office of Financial Aid calculates the return of funds using a federally-prescribed formula.

Funds will be returned in the following order:

  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans
  • Federal Direct Subsidized Loans
  • PLUS Loans. 

If funds remain after repaying all loan amounts, the remaining funds are repaid to Pell Grants and Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (Federal Pell funds are returned before FSEOG funds, as a result of R2T4 calculation).  If funds remain after repaying all federal loan and grant funds, the remaining funds are repaid to State aid programs, private programs and any CIA funded sources of financial aid accounts.

Students and their families should be aware that the requirement to return federal, state or CIA funded assistance might result in a balance due to the College; the student and/or his or her family is responsible for paying any balance resulting from the return of federal, state, private or CIA funded assistance.

Questions about tuition refund calculations based upon withdrawal from the College should be referred to the Office of Student Accounts. Any balance due resulting from the recalculation of tuition and fees and the reduction of aid is due and payable in full. A revised tuition statement will be sent once costs and aid are adjusted. Payment options will be disclosed then if a balance remains due. Withdrawal from the College does not relieve the student of his/her financial responsibility to CIA.

For the student not to be considered a withdrawal for Title IV purposes, in accordance with the requirements for the treatment of students in program offered in modules, the school would need to either: (1) obtain written confirmation of future attendance in a Title IV eligible course later in the semester; or (2) put the student on an approved leave of absence. Of course, if the student subsequently returns and begins attending a Title IV eligible course later in the period, the student’s Return of Title IV Funds calculation would be undone in in accordance with 34 CFR 668.22(a)(2)(iii).

Course Withdrawal

Because tuition is normally assessed on a comprehensive basis, no refunds are issued when a student withdraws from one or more courses while remaining enrolled at the College.

Please note: The Business Office will use the proration table above for adjusting tuition and fee charges if the student withdraws from CIA, but please be aware some fess are non-refundable.

The following fees will be considered non-refundable:

  • $100 Administrative fee
  • Health Service fee
  • CWRU Medical Plan
  • Foundation Supplies fee
  • Housing reservation fee 

The Health Fee is a mandatory fee that is charged to students and then paid to a third party (Insurance Company) through Case Western Reserve University (CWRU). The Insurance coverage remains in effect even if the student withdrawals from CIA.    

Withdrawals and the Return of Title IV Funds

5–17FSA HB May 2020

Institutional versus noninstitutional charges
Institutional charges generally are defined as the charges for tuition and fees, room and board, and other educational expenses that are paid to the school directly. If a fee (like a registration or technology fee) is required for all students in a program, then the fee should be considered an institutional charge. A charge does not have to appear on a student’s account to be considered an institutional charge. 

Institutional Charges

The following educational expenses must be considered institutional charges:

  • all charges for tuition, fees, and room and board (if contracted with the school); and
  • expenses for required course materials (books, kits, tools, supplies, etc.) if the student does not have a real and reasonable opportunity to purchase the required course materials from any place but the school. Exceptions: Excludable costs are costs a school may exclude from the total amount of institutional costs, such as the documented cost of unreturnable equipment and documented cost of returnable equipment if not returned in good condition within 20 days of withdrawal.

Noninstitutional charges (not included in a Return calculation) include:

  • charges for any required course materials that a school can document a student had a real and reasonable opportunity to purchase elsewhere (see the discussion that follows); 
  • charges to a student’s account for group health insurance fees if the insurance is required for all students and the coverage remains in effect for the entire period for which the student was charged, despite the student’s withdrawal, and
  • charges to a student’s account for discretionary, educationally related expenses (eg, parking or library fines, the cost of athletic or concert tickets, etc.).

Post Withdrawal Disbursements

If you did not receive all of the funds that you earned, you may be due a post-withdrawal disbursement. 

Grant funds must be disbursed within 45 days. 

If your post-withdrawal disbursement includes loan funds, they will be offered to you within 30 days. You will be notified in writing to obtain your permission before the funds are disbursed. You may choose to decline some or all of the loan funds so that you don't incur additional debt. 

All post-withdrawal disbursements are applied to a student’s account first towards outstanding tuition, fees, and room and board charges (as contracted with the school). Cleveland Institute of Art needs your permission to use the post-withdrawal grant disbursement for all other school charges. 

If you do not give your permission, you will still be offered the funds. However, it may be in your best interest to allow Cleveland Institute of Art to retain funds towards outstanding charges to reduce your debt at the institution.

For more information:

Financial Aid
216.421.7425 | Contact

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Student Accounts
216.421.7318 | Contact