20 of the Most Affordable Online Counseling Degrees in 2022

If you’re thinking of making counseling your career, you’re in good company. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that the demand for counselors of all kinds will rise by 23% between 2020 and 2030. This rate of growth is much faster than average, making this a great career to get into if you want job stability.

But before you can get a job as a counselor, you’ll need the right degree. This might range from a bachelor’s degree to a master’s degree, depending on your counseling specialty and the company that employs you. Either way, it’s best to find a program that you can afford on a budget. Fortunately, many colleges offer reasonable rates on tuition. Take a look at the most affordable online counseling degrees available to you.

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Most Affordable Online Colleges for Counseling Degrees

Many entry-level counseling jobs require you to have a bachelor’s degree. The good news is that there are many universities that offer this degree online for an annual tuition of $13,000 or less. Here are five colleges that offer affordable online counseling degrees.

Fort Hays State University

If you want to specialize in addiction counseling after college, look into Fort Hays State University. Considered among the most affordable online colleges for counseling degrees, this school makes it possible to complete your degree online via videos, labs, tests, discussion boards, and more.

Annual Tuition: $8,000

Degrees Available:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Sociology – Addictions Counseling
  • Bachelor of Science in Sociology – Addictions Counseling

Courses You’ll Take:

  • Introduction to addictions
  • Individual counseling for addictions
  • Families and addictions
  • Group counseling for people with addictions
  • Ethics in counseling
  • Pharmacology

Aspen University  

If your career goal is to help people who are battling addiction, attending Aspen University may be right for you. It’s one of the most affordable online colleges for counseling degrees, allowing you to get an understanding of addiction theory, psychology, and sociology via online courses.

Annual tuition: $5,400

Degrees Available:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Addiction Studies 

Courses You’ll Take:

  • Addiction theories
  • Medical terminology
  • Pharmacology
  • Substance abuse
  • Psychology of addiction
  • Crisis intervention

The University of Maine at Augusta 

Another of the most affordable online counseling degrees to consider is the one you can earn from the University of Maine at Augusta. In fact, this school offers five counseling degrees you can choose from if you’re planning to attend college remotely for your counseling career.

Annual Tuition: $9,200

Degrees Available: 

  • Bachelor of Science in Mental Health and Human Services
  • Bachelor of Science in Mental Health and Human Services – Addiction Counseling
  • Bachelor of Science in Mental Health and Human Services – Child & Family Services
  • Bachelor of Science in Mental Health and Human Services – Adult Mental Health Rehabilitation
  • Post-Baccalaureate of Science in Mental Health and Human Services

 Courses You’ll Take:

  • Introduction to human services
  • Case management
  • Introduction to substance use disorder
  • Counseling in human services
  • Community mental health

Lindsey Wilson College 

One of the most affordable online counseling degrees is the BA in Human Services and Counseling that you can get from Lindsey Wilson College. With a teaching staff of experts with a diverse array of degrees, you can expect to learn the basics of counseling by the time you graduate.

Annual tuition: $12,800

Degrees Available:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Human Services and Counseling

Courses You’ll Take:

  • Counseling theory
  • Human services
  • Substance abuse
  • Lifespan development
  • Group counseling
  • Case management and intake

Southern Wesleyan University

If your goal is to provide counseling services to families and married couples, Southern Wesleyan University is worth checking out. You can choose one of two counseling-related degrees to complete online.

Annual Tuition: $13,000

Degrees Available:

  • Bachelor of Science in Human Services – Marriage and Family Services
  • Bachelor of Science in Human Services – Counseling

Courses you’ll take:

  • Introduction to counseling
  • Multicultural counseling
  • Practical counseling skills
  • Child development
  • Adult development
  • Sex, courtships, and marriage

Most Affordable Online Substance Abuse Counseling Degrees  

If you want to specialize in helping people who are addicted to dangerous substances, you’ll need a degree that teaches you the skills for this job. Some of the most affordable online substance abuse counseling degrees cost less than $12,000. Here are some examples of such programs.

 East Central University

A degree from this school will prepare you to work with a population of people who have been struggling with addiction and are ready for rehabilitation.

Annual Tuition: $9,700

Degrees Available:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Human Services Counseling – Rehabilitation

Courses You’ll Take:

  • Fundamentals of counseling
  • Case management
  • Rehab counseling
  • Intervention techniques 

University of Central Arkansas 

Thanks to its online program, you don’t have to live in Arkansas to attend this school and feel fully prepared to work with people who need addiction treatment.

 Annual Tuition: $8,600

Degrees Available:

  • Bachelor of Science in Addiction Studies – Treatment

Courses you’ll take:

  • Drug education
  • Theory of prevention
  • Theory of addiction
  • Case management 

University of Cincinnati

This school offers one of the most affordable online substance abuse counseling degrees you can get without leaving your house for class. 

Annual Tuition: $10,500 

Degrees Available:

  • Bachelor of Science in Substance Abuse Counseling

Courses you’ll take:

  • Substance abuse counseling
  • Long-term substance abuse counseling
  • Counseling for families
  • Alcoholism

Liberty University

If you want a degree in psychology with an emphasis on addiction recovery, this school is an affordable option to consider.

Annual Tuition: $11,700

Degrees Available:

  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology – Addiction and Recovery

 Courses you’ll take:

  • Social psychology
  • Behavior modification
  • Psychology and Christianity 

University of South Dakota

If you want to choose from a variety of the most affordable online substance abuse counseling degrees, this school may be right for you, as you can pick from three degrees.

Annual Tuition: $10,550 

Degrees Available:

  • Bachelor of Science in Addiction Counseling and Prevention
  • Bachelor of Science in Addiction Counseling and Prevention – Prevention
  • Bachelor of Science in Addiction Counseling and Prevention – Treatment

 Courses You’ll Take: 

  • Study of alcohol abuse
  • Study of drug abuse
  • Families and drug issues
  • Ethical issues in the substance abuse field

Most Affordable Online School Counseling Degrees

If you want to be a counselor in a school, you will likely need a master’s degree. Here are some online school counseling degrees that cost less than $12,000 per year:

University of Cumberlands

If you plan to get the education you need to counsel students from preschool to 12th grade, the University of Cumberlands is a good start. This degree program’s low tuition should fit into nearly any budget for a master’s program in school counseling.  

Annual Tuition: $4,800

Degrees Available:

  • Master of Arts in Education – School Counseling P-12

Courses You’ll Take:

  • Counseling students with diverse needs
  • Ethical issues in school counseling
  • Group counseling at school

Campbellsville University  

This is another school that offers an affordable degree that will teach you the skills you need to counsel kids from preschool to the last year of high school.

Annual Tuition: $5,400

Degrees Available:

  • Master of Arts in Education in School Counseling (P-12)

Courses You’ll Take:

  • Counseling students affected by substance abuse
  • Counseling students affected by abuse
  • Developmental basics in elementary school
  • Developmental basics in middle and high school

Lamar University  

This school offers two of the most affordable online school counseling degrees you can get, preparing you to go into a career where you can confidently counsel kids of all ages.

Annual Tuition: $7,780 

Degrees Available:

  • Master of Education in School Counseling
  • Master of Education in Counseling and Development – Professional School Counseling

Courses You’ll Take:

  • Human growth and development
  • Foundations of counseling
  • Multicultural counseling
  • Group counseling techniques
  • Individual counseling techniques

Kansas State University

If you want to help advise students on what classes to take and what career goals to consider, you’ll need a degree in academic advising. Kansas State University offers one of the most affordable online school counseling degrees of this kind.

Annual Tuition: $8,650

Degrees Available:

  • Master of Science in Academic Advising

Courses You’ll Take:

  • Research methods in education
  • Student development theory
  • College students with special needs
  • Foundations of academic advising

Creighton University

If you want several master’s degrees to choose from, this school may be a good fit for you. It offers four of the most affordable online school counseling degrees.  

Annual Tuition: $10,500

Degrees Available:

  • Master of Science in School Counseling and Preventative Mental Health  
  • Master of Science in School Counseling and Preventative Mental Health – PK-12 Guidance Counseling
  • Master of Science in School Counseling and Preventative Mental Health  – Elementary School Counseling
  • Master of Science in School Counseling and Preventative Mental Health – Secondary School Counseling

Courses You’ll Take:

  • Mental health issues in children and teens
  • Research in school counseling
  • Ethical issues for school counselors

Most Affordable Online Master’s Counseling Degrees

Whether you want to be a family therapist, school counselor, substance abuse counselor, career counselor, or a related title, you will likely need a master’s degree to start. If you’re worried about how you’ll be able to pay for your degree, you should check out some of the most affordable online master’s counseling degrees you can get without having to drive to a college campus every day. All of these programs cost $13,000 or less per year. 

North Carolina State University

If you want to study to become a therapist or a related role in clinical mental health, this school offers an affordable degree program that lets you take all courses online.

Annual Tuition: $11,700

Degrees Available:

  • Master of Education in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Courses You’ll Take:

  • Career counseling and development
  • Theories of counseling
  • Group counseling

Clarks Summit University 

This school offers two of the most affordable online master’s counseling degrees available, so all you have to do is choose the one you want and then apply.

Annual Tuition: $8,775

 Degrees Available:

  • Master of Science in Counseling
  • Master of Arts in Counseling 

Courses You’ll Take:

  • Career counseling
  • Human development
  • Group counseling
  • Human sexuality
  • Crisis and trauma counseling

Washburn University

 This school offers a graduate degree that will prepare you to counsel families and individuals alike, giving you the skills you need for a career in counseling a variety of populations.

Annual Tuition: $10,010

Degrees Available:

Master of Arts in Family and Human Services/Addiction Counseling

Courses You’ll Take:

  • Pharmacology
  • Diagnosing substance abuse disorders
  • Group counseling
  • Ethics in counseling

Houston Baptist University

This school has three counseling graduate degrees to choose from, so you should consider it no matter what specialty you’re considering for this career.

Annual Tuition: $10,400 

Degrees Available:

Master of Arts in Human Services Counseling

Master of Arts in Human Services Counseling – Professional Life Coaching

Master of Arts in Human Services Counseling – Marriage and Family

Courses You’ll Take:

  • Multicultural counseling
  • Psychopathology
  • Psychotherapy
  • Group counseling

Adams State University

This college offers two of the most affordable online master’s counseling degrees you can get. Whether you want to specialize in school counseling or clinical mental health, Adams State University may be right for you.

Annual Tuition: $11,350

Degrees Available:

Master of Arts in Counseling – School Counseling

Master of Arts in Counseling – Clinical Mental Health

Courses You’ll Take:

  • Multicultural counseling
  • Lifespan development
  • Family counseling
  • Couples counseling
Counseling Career Guide

Still Looking for a Counseling Degree?

Here are some of the most popular online counseling programs. On each page you will find a detailed write-up of the program, specific courses, and schools that offer that program that are currently accepting applicants.