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Most Affordable Online Counseling Degrees

Counseling is an extensive mental health career field with several specialties and domains. There are countless practices within this field, such as school counseling, addiction counseling, clinical mental health counseling, family counseling, and much more. If you would consider yourself to be a considerate and empathetic individual, capable of listening actively and providing support to those in need, you might want to consider a career in professional counseling.

Committing to a full-fledged online counseling degree program may seem overwhelming, but with the right plan and the right mindset, you’re sure to succeed. Modern technology makes the process of earning a counseling degree accessible, affordable, and uncomplicated. Most colleges and universities offer comprehensive counselor education programs and collaborative coursework through virtual systems, all available from the comfort of your own home. In other words, you could advance through an entire degree program (or two) without ever stepping foot on a college campus!

We know it can be overwhelming to find a balance between everyday responsibilities and the rigors of an academic career. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of some of the most affordable online counseling degrees out there to assist in the decision-making process. If your mind is set on a career in professional counseling, and you’re determined to achieve your goals through a high-quality, fully comprehensive online platform, this list is here for you to learn more.


All schools considered for these rankings

  • Are regionally or nationally accredited
  • Offer at least one fully online counseling 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 2023.

Online Counseling Programs For You

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

2024 Most Affordable Colleges for Counseling Degrees Online

RankSchoolAverage Net Price
#1Washington State University$8,947
#2University of Maine at Augusta$9,889
#3East Central University$11,157
#4Fort Hays State University$13,515
#5College of Biblical Studies-Houston$14,143
#6Clarks Summit University$15,633
#7Aspen University$15,952
#8Lindsey Wilson College$16,538
#9Johnson University Florida$18,041
#10Hope International University$18,248
#11Houston Baptist University$18,745
#12Bay Path University$18,867
#13Southern Wesleyan University$19,352
#14Lee University$19,443
#15Faulkner University$20,371
#16Toccoa Falls College$20,737
#17Indiana Wesleyan University Online$21,077
#18Union College – KY$21,504
#19University of Cincinnati$22,114
#20Ohio Christian University$22,451
#21Oral Roberts University$23,385
#22Ottawa University Online$26,214
#23New England College$27,092

10 Best Affordable Colleges for Online Counseling Degrees

#1 Washington State University

Average Net Price: $8,947

School Type: Private, Non-Profit

School Accreditation: NWCCU

Acceptance Rate: 86%

Washington State University is a nationally accredited public university in Pullman, Washington. It is a larger school with over 22,000 undergraduate students. Admissions to WSU is somewhat competitive as their student acceptance rate is 86%. WSU is home to a popular collegiate football team as well as a strong selection of majors including social science research, psychology, and nursing. 59% of WSU’s students complete their degree there, with alumni going on to earn an entry salary of $40,600.

WSU’s counseling program is one of 67 counseling psychology Ph.D. programs available in the US and accredited by the American Psychological Association and one of only two in the Pacific Northwest. Graduates of this program can gain licensure as psychologists that is valid in most states. Graduates often go on to fill positions as psychologists, academic faculty, clinicians, and post-doctoral researchers.

#2 University of Maine at Augusta

Average Net Price: $9,889

School Type: Public, Non-Profit

School Accreditation: NECHE

Acceptance Rate: 100%

The University of Maine at Augusta is the university that calls students who have a passion for helping themselves and others. While attending the University of Maine at Augusta, students will be able to enroll in the Mental Health and Human Services Associate’s or Bachelor’s online counseling degree programs. They also offer a graduate certificate in Substance Use Disorders for students wanting to offer substance abuse counseling services. These programs will allow students to attain a career in a variety of different social service fields. You can design your educational experience according to your particular needs so that you can reach your goals and become your best. You can also feel confident that you will learn everything you need about mental health social work with adolescents, adults, elderly people, and children while attaining an online counseling degree. Results have shown that in 2018, 85 percent of the University of Maine at Augusta’s graduating class found successful employment within their field.

#3 East Central University

Average Net Price: $11,157

School Type: Public, Non-Profit

School Accreditation: HLC

Acceptance Rate: 65%

East Central University is a public institution that was founded in 1909. While attending, students have the ability to attain a Bachelor of Arts in Human Services Counseling. They will study some of the following topics.

  • aging services concentration
  • counseling concentration
  • rehabilitation concentration
  • services to the deaf concentration

This program’s online counseling degree prepares students to go wherever life leads them to accomplish things and do as much as they can. They are proud to have a history of exceptional success that has lasted for 100 years. Students can expect to learn problem-solving skills that prepare them to be adaptable throughout the real world. Students will also gain experience throughout the digital world while studying for their online counseling degrees.
This university was ranked the third-best within its state. Its programs have helped to create exceptional amounts of success for the students. While attending this university, students would gain an education that is both up-to-date and effective.

This institution was created to certify teachers. Over time, the university has grown into an institution that offers various amounts of degrees and certificates. The faculty and staff are dedicated to providing educational experiences that are always improving online and on-campus.

#4 Fort Hays State University

Average Net Price: $13,515

School Type: Public, Non-Profit

School Accreditation: HLC

Acceptance Rate: 90%

Fort Hays State University is the university to attend if you want to receive an online master’s degree in School Counseling or Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Both programs consist of 60 hours’ worth of courses. The School Counseling Master’s degree requires passing the Praxis Professional School Counselor test. Classes are a mix of online and on-campus options, so it may be taken in a hybrid fashion. In this line of study, students are also required to spend three hours learning the various research methods, and then apply what they’ve learned by compiling a research paper. The Clinical Mental Health Counseling Master’s degree requires completion of a practicum and internship. The time and place of these mental health counseling internships and practicums is flexible to meet each student’s needs. In this program, there is an emphasis on Family and Couples Counseling methods.

#5 College of Biblical Studies-Houston

Average Net Price: $14,143

School Type: Private, Non-Profit

School Accreditation: SACS COC ABHE

Acceptance Rate: 100%

College of Biblical Studies-Houston is the right college for you if you want to be a mental health counselor for your clients with a more biblical perspective. To enter this program, students must have at least 69 hours of approved credits from an accredited university. Specifically, students must have 36 general education credits. If these qualifications aren’t met, the CBS register’s office will make the proper accommodations so that students can gain the credits that are needed to officially enter the counseling program.

Students will also have other options for graduating at a reasonable time with programs that may give them college-level exams, advanced placement, military equivalencies, and more.

Students can also choose to earn a counseling degree with split majors such as Christian leadership, biblical counseling, and biblical studies. This program provides a broader array of educational specialties. This means that the program also has a different set of requirements.

#6 Clarks Summit University

Average Net Price: $15,633

School Type: Private, Non-Profit

School Accreditation: MSCHE ABHE

Acceptance Rate: 58%

Clarks Summit University is a university with small classes and professors who truly have a passion to help their students succeed in all their degree programs. Attend this college if you are seeking academic preparation and discipleship. Clarks Summit University consists of classes that are carefully constructed to implement God’s word into the educational process to enhance tomorrow’s industries and ministries. You can expect to increase your faith and career skills all at once.

There are also discount opportunities for Christian workers and military workers. Payment options are just as flexible as class schedules. You will not be required to attend class at a certain time of the day while attaining a counseling degree as an online student. There are also wonderful opportunities for students to transfer electives over so that their experience caters to their graduation goals and qualifications. Students can expect to be prepared so that they can effectively practice as a marriage and family therapist, mental health counselor, psychotherapist, school guidance counselor, and more.

Learn more: Best Affordable Online MFT Programs

#7 Aspen University

Average Net Price: $15,952

School Type: Private, For-Profit

School Accreditation: SACS COC

Acceptance Rate: 100%

Aspen University is a nationally accredited, privately owned online university in Glendale, Colorado near Denver that was established in 1987. It is a school with 6,299 undergraduate students but it accepts 100% of applicants. Aspen offers both undergraduate and graduate programs in a variety of subjects, such as nursing, early childhood education, computer science, criminal justice, and business. Aspen graduates 46% of students, with most students opting to use Aspen as a springboard to begin their secondary education at a cost effective school and then moving on to larger schools with more resources but higher costs.

Aspen offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Addiction Studies for students aiming to enter the field of rehabilitation counseling and, more specifically, addiction counseling. This program helps to prepare alumni to radically improve the lives of addicts and to develop new treatments to help future generations and mental health counseling programs. With Aspen’s notable option for a tuition payment plan, there are countless ways Aspen offers quality learning at affordable costs.

#8 Lindsey Wilson College

Average Net Price: $16,538

School Type: Private, Non-Profit

School Accreditation: SACS COC

Acceptance Rate: 100%

Lindsey Wilson College offers courses to students who value the accreditation of their professors. Their mental health counseling program is taught by passionate professionals with diverse areas of specialization. Your professors will have expertise in the areas of clinical rehabilitation, community health, substance abuse counseling, professional school counseling, clinical supervision, case management, group counseling, neurofeedback, career guidance, counseling theory, and more.

These courses are also tailored to better suit students’ time schedules. Dedicated students have the opportunity to choose a course with a duration of eight weeks. These courses would allow them to finish their counselor degree in as little as 18 months. There are also opportunities to earn up to 30 hours of prior learning credits.

#9 Johnson University Florida

Average Net Price: $18,041

School Type: Private, Non-Profit

School Accreditation: SACS COC

Acceptance Rate: 42%

Johnson University Florida is the institution that integrates quality education that is based on credible science-based techniques. Students can expect to be educated about the information that is relevant to various social services, roles, and positions. Students can expect to feel like they are being equipped to truly improve the quality of life for others. These students will learn what it takes to have the skills that are necessary to impact individuals, families, and communities. This university feels that Christian counselors should be equipped with the tools that are necessary to understand human behavior, communication, and problem-solving.

Undergraduate students can expect to learn about what it takes to be successful within entry-level social service positions. The school also offers a master’s program in counseling for students who choose to further their education for careers that may not be entry-level.

#10 Hope International University

Average Net Price: $18,248

School Type: Private, Non-Profit

School Accreditation: WSCUC

Acceptance Rate: 40%

Hope International University (HIU) offers two online counseling degrees:

  • Master of Science in Counseling with an Emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy (MSC): This 61-unit program is designed to prepare students for a career as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) or Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). The program includes courses on counseling theories, child abuse detection and intervention, family violence, multicultural perspectives in counseling, theories of marriage and family therapy, group therapy, psychopathology, and psychopharmacology.
  • Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy (MA): This 60-unit program is designed to prepare students for a career as an LMFT. The program includes courses on counseling theories, family systems, family therapy, research methods, and clinical practicum.

Both programs are offered fully online and are accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).

To be admitted to either program, students must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. They must also submit GRE scores and letters of recommendation.