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Education Reference Desk | Online Education Resources for Students and Teachers

Most Affordable Online Social Work Degree Programs

most_affordable_online_social_work_degreesThe field of social work is a broad and deep one and it includes any number of potential career options, ranging from high school social workers to CPS counselors, specialists, and clinicians. If you’re the type of person that knows how to help people in desperate circumstances, you’ll be able to find a niche career in this field. Below we’ve compiled a list of a few of the most wallet-friendly options for obtaining a degree in social work, and the fact that they’re all formatted to be completed entirely online makes all the difference.

Methodology

All schools considered for these rankings

  • Are regionally or nationally accredited
  • Offer at least one fully online social work degree (with no more than two weeks of required in-person work)
  • Were collected from official accrediting agency websites.

Schools are ranked solely by the average net price as released in the most recent IPEDs database collected in July of 2020.

2020 Most Affordable Online Colleges for Social Work Degrees

Rank School Average Net Price
# 1 Eastern New Mexico University-Main Campus $10,338
# 2 Lewis-Clark State College $10,978
# 3 Western New Mexico University $11,909
# 4 Troy University $12,951
# 5 Brescia University $13,184
# 6 University of Arkansas at Little Rock $13,751
# 7 Wichita State University $13,849
# 8 Eastern Kentucky University $14,674
# 9 University of North Dakota $15,654
# 10 University of Nebraska at Kearney $15,890
# 11 Campbellsville University $17,788
# 12 Aurora University $17,906
# 13 University of Cincinnati $19,219
# 14 Saint Leo University Online $19,843
# 15 Malone University $20,193
# 16 Touro University Worldwide $20,390
# 17 Briar Cliff University $20,437
# 18 The University of Tennessee – Knoxville $21,024
# 19 Indiana Wesleyan University Online $21,619
# 20 King University $22,098
# 21 Limestone College $23,023
# 22 Virginia Wesleyan University $25,000
# 23 Misericordia University $25,978
# 24 Liberty University $28,181

10 Best Affordable Colleges for Online Social Work Degrees

1. Eastern New Mexico University – Main Campus

Average Net Price: $10,338
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Acceptance Rate: 60%

Eastern New Mexico University – Main Campus is the second most competitive college in New Mexico, according to Niche.com. The U.S. News and World Report ranks it at #87 among Regional Universities West. ENMU offers a Bachelor of Social Work degree and holds accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education. Eastern New Mexico University is known as a Hispanic-serving institution with a rigorous and popular online focus and a large medical social work program. No application fee is required. At 84%, the school has a significantly higher than average post-graduate employment rate.

2. Lewis-Clark State College

Average Net Price: $10,978
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Acceptance Rate: 100%

Lewis-Clark State College is ranked fourth best in Idaho for the quality of its faculty, according to Niche.com. According to the U.S. News and World Report, it sits at #26 in Regional Colleges West and is recognized by HumanServicesEDU as one of the top online social work degree programs in the country for its low student-to-teacher ratio and high job placement rate (94%). The school offers a Bachelor of Social Work degree that aligns with the recommendations of the Council on Social Work Education. Because Lewis-Clark State College has a small student population, students enjoy a high degree of attention and support from faculty and staff. There is no application fee to apply and standardized test scores, such as the SAT or the ACT, are optional. It also has a higher than average rate of placing students into employment within two years of graduation (89%).

3. Western New Mexico University

Average Net Price: $11,909
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Acceptance Rate: 100%

Western New Mexico University is rated #6 for Colleges with the Best Professors in New Mexico. The school offers a Bachelor of Social Work degree, a Master of Social Work degree, and a Master of Social Work – Advanced Standing degree. WNMU’s social work program has been accredited by the Council on Social Work Education since 1994. It offers a flexible block schedule semester design, which makes it easier to earn an online social work degree while also working full-time. Because WNMU has low enrollment, class sizes are small and students enjoy a higher level of attention and support from faculty. Around 81% of students from Western New Mexico University are employed within two years of graduation.

4. Troy University

Average Net Price: $12,951
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Acceptance Rate: 88%

Troy University ranks #19 among the best colleges for online learning, according to Niche.com and one of Niche’s “Best Colleges” in 2020. It is ranked #52 for Online Bachelor’s Programs, according to the U.S. News and World Report. The school offers a Bachelor of Science in Social Work degree and a Master of Social Work – Direct Practice for BSW degree. Its online social work program aligns with the goals and objectives set out by the Council on Social Work Education and is known for its innovative course design and job preparation focus. Troy University has a large online focus, which means students in the social work degree online program enjoy a high degree of expertise and support for successful online learning. It also has a higher than average rate of placing students into employment within two years of graduation (88%).

5. Brescia University

Average Net Price: $13,1384
School Type: Private, Non-Profit, Catholic
School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Acceptance Rate: 39%

Brescia University is #34 among best colleges for online learning, according to Niche.com and one of Niche’s “Best Colleges” in 2020. According to the U.S. News and World Report, it sits at #29 among Regional Colleges South. The school offers an Associate in Human Services, a Bachelor of Social Work degree, a Master of Social Work degree, and a Master of Social Work – Advanced Standing degree. The majors in Social Work and Youth Services are some of the school’s most widely-renowned undergraduate programs. Its programs are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. As a very small college, with fewer than 800 students and a fairly competitive acceptance rate, Brescia is able to provide its students with a high degree of support and attention.

6. University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Average Net Price: $13,751
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Acceptance Rate: 79%

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock is rated #214 in Top Performers on Social Mobility, according to the U.S. News and World Report. The university’s online social work program offers a Bachelor of Social Work degree and a Master of Social Work degree. Its School of Social Work is the longest-running social work program in the state of Arkansas and the only one in the state to provide an online option. The university faculty is rated highly by both their peers and their students, and despite the school’s large student population, the student to faculty ratio sits at a competitive 12:1. It has a higher than average post-graduate employment rate (89%) and, in their first jobs, its alumni tend to earn slightly more than the national average.

7. Wichita State University

Average Net Price: $13,849
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Acceptance Rate: 96%

Wichita State University is rated #13 in Best Value Colleges in Kansas, making it a top online school for obtaining a social work degree. The school offers a Bachelor of General Studies – Social Work degree and a Master of Social Work degree. Its undergraduate program is one of the oldest such programs in the country and both it and the graduate program are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Standardized test scores, such as the SAT or the ACT, are not required in order to apply. At 91%, Wichita State has a much higher than average two-year post-graduate employment rate, and in their first jobs, alumni tend to earn considerably more than the national average.

8. Eastern Kentucky University

Average Net Price: $14,674
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Acceptance Rate: 87%

Eastern Kentucky University is ranked #58 in Online Bachelor’s Programs, according to the U.S. News and World Report. The school also ranks #54 in Regional Colleges South and is recognized by HumanServicesEDU as one of the top Bachelor of Social Work programs in the country for its flexible program design, multiple certificate options, compressed terms, and the opportunity to earn a Public Child Welfare Certificate while working on a bachelor’s. The school offers a Bachelor of Social Work degree and Undergraduate Certificate in Youth Services, as well as a Master in Social Work degree and certificate programs in Addictions Intervention, Mental Health, Child and Family Services, Leadership and Management, and Social Advocacy and Justice. It has held accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education since 1977. Standardized test scores, such as the SAT or the ACT, are not required for application. Eastern Kentucky has a higher than average two-year post-graduate employment rate (90%) and its alumni tend to earn more than the national average in their first jobs.

9. University of North Dakota

Average Net Price: $15,654
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Acceptance Rate: 82%

According to the U.S. News and World Report, the University of North Dakota ranks at #73 among Online Bachelor’s Programs and is considered to be the second-best overall college in the state of North Dakota, according to Niche.com. The school offers a Bachelor of Science in Social Work, a Master of Social Work – Distance Concentration, and a Master of Social Work – Distance Foundation. It also provides minor concentrations in Gerontology and in Chemical Dependency. Because it archives all course materials, students proceed through the online courses at their own pace and not within the confines of a set semester. Standardized test scores, such as the SAT or the ACT, are not required to apply, and the school has a rolling application deadline. At 96%, UND also has one of the country’s highest two-year post-graduate employment rates, and its alumni tend to earn much more than the national average in their first jobs.

10. University of Nebraska at Kearney

Average Net Price: $15,890
School Type: Public, Non-Profit
School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
Acceptance Rate: 94%

The University of Nebraska at Kearney is rated #2 among Top Public Universities in Nebraska, according to Niche.com. It is recognized by HumanServicesEDU as one of the top Bachelor of Social Work programs in the country for its flexible program design and network of international social work opportunities. The school offers a comprehensive Bachelor of Science in Social Work degree, as well as a Master of Social Work. Its social work programs have held accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education since 1982. Standardized test scores, such as the SAT or the ACT, are optional for applying. The university maintains a low student to faculty ratio (13:1), which allows instructors to provide personalized attention to students both in-person and online. The school also has one of the country’s highest two-year post-graduate employment rates (95%), and in their first jobs, alumni tend to earn salaries much higher than the national average.

Sources

HumanServicesEDU: https://www.humanservicesedu.org/most-affordable-bsw-programs-in-america.html
Niche.com: https://www.niche.com
U.S. News and World Report: https://www.usnews.com/education/online-education