Most Affordable Online Counseling Degrees

Counseling is an extensive career field with several specialties and domains. There are countless practices within this field, such as school counseling, addiction counseling, grief 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 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 degree accessible, affordable, and uncomplicated. Most colleges and universities offer comprehensive 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 is the list for you.


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 2020.

2021 Most Affordable Colleges for Counseling Degrees Online

RankSchoolAverage Net Price
#1East Central University$9,893
#2University of Maine at Augusta$10,046
#3Fort Hays State University$12,108
#4Lindsey Wilson College$15,189
#5College of Biblical Studies-Houston$16,385
#6Lee University$16,949
#7Clarks Summit University$16,980
#8Johnson University Florida$17,242
#9Union College – KY$17,824
#10Southern Wesleyan University$17,978
#11Washington State University$18,002
#12University of Cincinnati$19,219
#13Faulkner University$19,990
#14Houston Baptist University$20,436
#15Hope International University$20,850
#16Oral Roberts University$20,872
#17Indiana Wesleyan University Online$21,619
#18Toccoa Falls College$22,309
#19Bay Path University$22,740
#20Ohio Christian University$24,515
#21Ottawa University Online$24,718
#22Liberty University$28,181
#23New England College$29,369

10 Best Affordable Colleges for Online Counseling Degrees

#1 East Central University

Average Net Price: $9,893

School Type: Public, Non-Profit

School Accreditation: HLC

Acceptance Rate:82.6 %

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.

#2 University of Maine at Augusta

Average Net Price: $10,046

School Type: Public, Non-Profit

School Accreditation: NECHE

Acceptance Rate: 97.8%

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 their online mental health and human services program that offers an associate’s or counselor degree. 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 working 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 Fort Hays State University

Average Net Price: $12,108

School Type: Public, Non-Profit

School Accreditation: HLC

Acceptance Rate:92.3 %

Fort Hays State University is the university to attend if you want to receive a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science. Both counseling degrees have lots of similarities. The slight differences can make really big changes for students’ career paths and goals.

Bachelor of Science students have a more concentrated approach to mathematics and science. These students are usually interested in attending graduate after they graduate. Students who attend the Bachelor of Arts program will also have to complete a 20-hour qualification. Their program concentrates more on the areas of foreign languages and other forms of art that will give them an advantage in their counseling endeavors.

Both counseling degrees require 55 hours of general education. Students can expect to take classes that consist of personality, perception, testing in psychological measurements, abnormal psychology, and other interesting areas of studies that are designed to prepare them for an exciting and productive career.

#4 Lindsey Wilson College

Average Net Price: $15,189

School Type: Private, Non-Profit

School Accreditation: SACS COC

Acceptance Rate:95 %

Lindsey Wilson College offers courses to students who value the accreditation of their professors. Their program is taught by passionate professionals with diverse areas of specialization. Your professors will have expertise in the areas of counseling, community health, substance abuse, play therapy, clinical supervision, case management, acculturation, neurofeedback, career guidance, clinical supervision, 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 time 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.

#5 College of Biblical Studies-Houston

Average Net Price: $16,385

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 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 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 Lee University

Average Net Price: $16,949

School Type: Private, Non-Profit

School Accreditation: SACS COC

Acceptance Rate:89.2 %

Lee University is the university that allows students to choose from six different online undergraduate programs. Their ministry leadership program specifically provides opportunities for students to get a counseling degree. Students can also expect their courses to emphasize studying children’s ministry, music and worship, youth ministry, church administration, business, and more.

These concentrated areas are constructed to prepare students to be able to lead Christians into applying leadership skills throughout their daily lives while also interacting with others. These qualities are taught to encourage productive leadership skills throughout the church. Students will also be equipped with the skills to research and analyze information in a productive manner for their church members and more. This counseling degree online program also emphasizes the importance of praise and worship within traditional churches and children’s ministries. Students can expect to be thoroughly educated about the true responsibilities of a children’s minister throughout the church so that their ministry grows in the right direction to promote proper counseling conduct.

#7 Clarks Summit University

Average Net Price: $16,980

School Type: Private, Non-Profit

School Accreditation: MSCHE ABHE

Acceptance Rate: 50.7%

Clarks Summit University is a university with small classes and professors who truly have a passion to help their students succeed. 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 marriage and family therapists, mental health counselors, psychotherapists, school guidance counselors, and more.

#8 Johnson University Florida

Average Net Price: $17,242

School Type: Private, Non-Profit

School Accreditation: SACS COC ABHE TRACS

Acceptance Rate:65.4 %

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.

#9 Union College – KY

Average Net Price: $17,824

School Type: Private, Non-Profit

School Accreditation: SACS COC

Acceptance Rate: 56.3%

Union College – KY is the university that seeks to promote intellectual, spiritual, and physical growth for everyone who is involved in the counseling community. This is an approach that seeks to enhance the future of the industry. Students will be provided with the option to begin a program that provides them with courses that last for eight weeks. Academic counselors and staff are passionate about helping every student accomplish their individualized career and educational goals toward their online counseling degrees.

Substance abuse counseling is also a sensitive area of study that this university encourages students to take on with undergraduate and graduate studies. All of this can be acquired with benefits like affordable tuition that provides a reasonable price per credit hour. These classes are also approved for veterans and active-duty military members. Students can expect to take classes like adolescent psychology, child development, lifespan development, forensic psychology, and substance abuse internship.

#10 Southern Wesleyan University

Average Net Price: $17,978

School Type: Private, Non-Profit

School Accreditation: SACS COC

Acceptance Rate: 53.6%

Southern Wesleyan University is the university that focuses on treating clients for issues that stop families and individuals from prospering in life. Students will learn about concentration areas like career counseling, drug and alcohol addiction, family therapy, and more. Students will understand the correlation between mental health and substance abuse thoroughly enough to help themselves and their clients live happier more productive lives.

Students can also get the reassurance that they are in a faith-filled community. This university enforces the importance of flexible courses, community and support, career importance, and safety. Faculty and staff are dedicated to helping students understand the university’s respect for these aspects towards quality education online and on-campus.

This university also prides itself on being an affordable investment for future careers that helps students benefit for the rest of their lives. Students will be equipped with skills that give them the ability to avoid unemployment and fit their unique needs.

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