Most Affordable Online Social Work Degrees 2022

Earning a social work degree can lead to a fulfilling career helping others. Here, we list the most affordable social work programs.

Most Affordable Online Social Work Degrees 2022

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Cheapest Social Work Degree

Online social work programs prepare aspiring social workers for the profession. Social workers typically need at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited college. Applicants need a high school or GED diploma. Some schools also require standardized test scores and recommendation letters.

An undergraduate social work degree features a mix of general education and major classes. Online social work programs may require classes in social work research, human diversity and ethical issues, and family and group practice. Graduates who do not pursue a master's may work as probation officers, behavioral management aides, or community outreach workers.

Our ranking lists the most affordable online social work programs. Keep reading to learn about costs, common classes, and how to become a social worker.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Social Work

What jobs can I get with a degree in social work?

Licensed professionals work in different settings, like hospitals or schools. They train for these roles by selecting a specialization in their online social work degree.

What are some social work specializations?

Social work degrees may offer specializations like medical or hospice social work. Requirements include completing supervised work experience and taking upper-division electives.

Do social workers need a license?

Many social work professions require a license. Licensure requirements vary by state but may include a specific degree, supervised work experience, and passing an exam.

Do I need more than a bachelor's degree to work as a social worker?

Many social workers need a master's in social work to qualify for a state-issued license. These on-campus and online degrees in social work take full-time students two years to complete.

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Why Get a Degree in Social Work?

Social workers help people achieve a better quality of life. Their work also impacts communities positively. Social workers earn more than the typical U.S. worker. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects jobs for these workers to grow 12% from 2020-2030, which is faster than average.

An online format helps recent high school graduates and adults returning to school. Online social work degrees let students attend an out-of-state college without relocating. This advantage can help learners save money. Other benefits may include an asynchronous curriculum.

How Much Does a Social Work Degree Cost?

Students researching online social work programs should compare their cost of attendance by adding up fees, tuition, textbooks, and other expenses. College costs an average of $35,330 per year, according to EducationData.org. Learners attending public, in-state schools typically pay the most affordable tuition.

Many colleges offering a degree in social work offer institutional scholarships and grants. The latter requires FAFSA results. The federal government also uses the FAFSA to award grants and low-interest loans. Degree-seekers submit the FAFSA annually to remain eligible. Online social work students can also apply for private scholarships to help pay for their degree.

Additional Online Student Fees

Students pursuing an online social work degree should budget for extra expenses. For example, many schools charge technology fees to cover online learning delivery. Schools may also charge graduation fees.

Learners pursuing licensure may move into a master's in social work program, which requires a major investment. Master's degree-holders must then pay for a state-issued license. Prospective students should check a state's board of licensure website for the latest fee schedules.

How Much Do Social Work Majors Make?

Social workers earn a median $51,760 annually, according to the BLS. This salary exceeds what the typical U.S. worker makes by about $10,000. However, workers with only a bachelor's may earn less. The lowest-paid social workers earn $33,020 or less.

Many factors influence salary, including professionals' employer and geographic location. Local governments and ambulatory healthcare services pay more than the national median.

Earning a master's degree and a license helps graduates qualify for better-paying positions. Some experienced licensed social workers earn more than $85,820. These workers can find the best-paying jobs by relocating. Social workers in Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Washington earn more than their peers in other states.

Courses in Social Work

Online social work programs require major classes, general education classes, and electives. The major curriculum may feature classes in writing for social workers, social welfare policy, and integrative practice.

Some programs offer enough elective credits to let students complete a minor or second major. Degree-seekers can work with an academic advisor to customize the curriculum to fit their academic and career goals.

See below for some common classes in online social work programs. Consider this list a sample curriculum. Graduation requirements and academic experiences vary among online schools. Prospective enrollees should compare social work degrees closely and contact admissions counselors to find the right program.

  • Writing for Social Workers

    Social workers with a bachelor's need advanced writing skills. This class emphasizes scholarly writing fundamentals, research strategies, and effective paraphrasing. Other class topics include the American Psychological Association's (APA) Publication Manual. Students use what they learn in this class to write in APA style throughout their bachelor's program. The class also prepares learners for graduate-level classes' writing assignments.
  • Social Welfare Policy

    This class requires students to analyze how social welfare policy evolved throughout U.S. history. Assigned readings cover social work movements, milestones, and challenges. These and other topics help learners understand social workers' roles and responsibilities. Additional learning outcomes include using historical context to evaluate modern social work trends.
  • Integrative Policy

    Many online social work programs require integrative practice or a similar capstone class. Students split their time between a field practicum and a virtual classroom. The 400-hour practicum requires learners to work under a licensed social worker with at least two years of experience. Degree-seekers leave the practicum with in-demand professionalism, interpersonal, and analytical skills.

How to Become a Social Worker

Licensed social workers need more than a bachelor's to practice. Aspiring professionals must earn a master's from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. This organization accredits only the best programs preparing learners for a career. Other requirements include a state-issued license. Licensure candidates with a master's take exams and pay a fee.

Licensed social workers' responsibilities vary by specialization. School social workers typically work out of a district office and visit schools. Healthcare social workers usually work in a hospital or other clinical setting. Typical job responsibilities include interviewing clients, providing advice, and recommending additional social services.

Most Affordable Online Social Work Programs 2022

#1

University of Louisville

School Information
Location Louisville, Kentucky
Admission Rate 69%
Graduation Rate 59%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 12% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

From its camps in Louisville, Kentucky, University of Louisville offers premier online degrees for students looking for a competitive program. A total of 2,624 distance learners attend the public institution, which offers nine online bachelor's programs. The online bachelor of social work program provides a rigorous education with industry relevance.

Connecting with classmates and instructors in the virtual classroom space helps enrollees gain the full benefits of the program's supportive online learning community. Students complete coursework covering foundational and advanced topics to gain knowledge relevant to the social work field. Learners can also pursue experiential learning opportunities, such as research projects and internships, to prepare for a social work career. The institution offers resources focused on student success to help degree-seekers throughout the course of their program, such as academic advising and career counseling.

Learners can reduce their educational expenses by working with a financial aid officer to find funding opportunities. Scholarships, fellowships, and federal financial aid are some of the numerous opportunities available to the college's students. Some type of financial assistance is given to 98% of the institution's enrollees.

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#2

Northern Arizona University

School Information
Location Flagstaff, Arizona
Admission Rate 85%
Graduation Rate 57%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 46% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Students looking for a flexible online education in social work should consider Northern Arizona University’s master of social work program. The public institution educates 14,098 virtual degree-seekers. The Arizona college offers institutional resources from its Flagstaff campus that benefit its online learners, including a supportive remote learning community.

Students in the social work program learn industry knowledge in engaging classes. The curriculum covers general education and advanced topics. Master's degree-seekers can modify classes and pick electives. Enrollees can also add to their academic experience with hands-on learning opportunities. Getting first-hand knowledge of what it's like to work in the social work field is possible for degree-seekers who complete internships, externships, or research projects.

Applicants can talk to the admissions office to learn more about enrollment criteria. Students can check with the financial aid office to see if they qualify for any funding opportunities, since 95% of enrollees receive some kind of financial aid. Fellowships, scholarships, and other types of aid let eligible learners reduce their degree costs.

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#3

Troy University

School Information
Location Troy, Alabama
Admission Rate 88%
Graduation Rate 47%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 56% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Degree-seekers wanting a flexible remote education in social work should check out the bachelor's in social work program at Troy University. The public institution offers 19 of its bachelor's program remotely, providing an industry-relevant education to 9,242 virtual degree-seekers. Located in Troy, Alabama, the college supports its distance learners by offering institutional resources, including a tight-knit online community.

Interactive classes provide social work students with industry knowledge. The curriculum includes classes covering both general education and advanced topics. Enrollees can tailor their courses and pick electives. Experiential learning opportunities add to their educational experiences. Externships, internships, and research projects give degree-seekers first-hand knowledge of what it's like to work in the social work field.

Prospective students can learn more about enrollment requirements by asking the admissions office. Some form of financial aid is awarded to 92% of all enrollees, so students should check with the financial aid office to explore eligibility requirements for funding opportunities. Lowering the cost of a degree is possible for learners who qualify for scholarships, fellowships, and other aid opportunities.

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#4

University of Nebraska at Kearney

School Information
Location Kearney, Nebraska
Admission Rate 85%
Graduation Rate 56%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 65% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Many degree-seekers looking for a flexible virtual education in social work find the bachelor's in social work program at University of Nebraska at Kearney to be a great option. The public institution offers nine online bachelor’s degrees, providing industry-relevant education to 4,095 remote students. The college supports its distance learners by offering many institutional resources, including a tight-knit remote community.

Engaging classes in the social work program provide students with industry-specific knowledge. Within the social work curriculum, which covers general education and advanced topics, learners can customize classes and choose electives. Experiential learning opportunities supplement enrollees' academic experiences. Getting first-hand experience of working in the social work field is possible for degree-seekers who complete research, internships, or externships.

Prospective students can learn more about enrollment requirements by asking the admissions office. Financial aid is awarded to 94% of all enrollees, so students should meet with the financial aid office to see if they qualify. Eligible learners can offset the cost of their degree through aid opportunities like internships and fellowships.

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#5

Angelo State University

School Information
Location San Angelo, Texas
Admission Rate 77%
Graduation Rate 40%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 41% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Angelo State University offers a bachelor of social work that is a great choice for students wanting a flexible online education in social work. The public institution's 4,333 virtual degree-seekers choose from four remote bachelor's programs with industry relevance. The college supports its distance learners by offering many institutional resources from its campus in San Angelo, Texas.

Enrollees benefit from a tight-knit virtual community and gain knowledge through immersive classes. The curriculum covers general education and advanced topics. Learners can customize their program and  participate in hands-on learning opportunities. Externships, internships, and research projects give degree-seekers first-hand knowledge of what it's like to work in the social work field.

Applicants can talk to the admissions office to learn more about enrollment criteria. Students can meet with the financial aid office to discuss if they meet the requirements for any funding opportunities, since 94% of all enrollees receive some kind of financial aid. Scholarships and fellowships can also help qualified learners decrease their educational expenses.

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#6

Bemidji State University

School Information
Location Bemidji, Minnesota
Admission Rate 65%
Graduation Rate 48%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 45% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Students wanting a flexible remote education in social work should check out the bachelor's in social work at Bemidji State University. The public institution provides industry-relevant education to 2,213 remote degree-seekers, offering 11 of its bachelor's programs online. Distance learners benefit from a supportive online learning community and institutional resources, supported by the college through its main campus in Bemidji, Minnesota.

Students gain knowledge needed for the social work industry in interactive classes. Within the social work curriculum, which covers general education and advanced topics, learners can customize classes and choose electives. Enrollees add to their education with experiential learning opportunities. Research, internships, and externships help provide a first-hand experience of working in the social work field.

Prospective students can learn more about enrollment requirements by asking the admissions office. Of all enrollees, 90% get some type of financial aid. Students should check with the financial aid office to learn eligibility requirements. Qualified learners can offset the cost of their degree through aid opportunities like internships and fellowships.

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#7

University of North Dakota

School Information
Location Grand Forks, North Dakota
Admission Rate 81%
Graduation Rate 61%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 45% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Degree-seekers interested in a flexible education to prepare them for the social work field should consider University of North Dakota's bachelor of science in social work. The 6,163 online learners at the public college receive a premier education, choosing from 16 bachelor's programs offered remotely.

Students prepare for a successful social work career with the tools they gain in the program. Enrollees learn about both foundational concepts and advanced topics in social work through a variety of classes. Depending on their career aspirations, degree-seekers can complete hands-on learning experiences to increase their industry knowledge. Applied research projects, externships, and internships impart learners with valuable knowledge. Academic advisors and career counselors assist students through the course of their studies.

To offset degree costs, eligible students can pursue external and internal funding opportunities, such as scholarships and fellowships. A total of 92% of enrollees at the college receive financial aid from the leader in distance learning.

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#8

Wayne State University

School Information
Location Detroit, Michigan
Admission Rate 73%
Graduation Rate 48%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 34% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Located in Detroit, Michigan, Wayne State University provides premier online programs for students seeking competitive study. The public institution's eight online bachelor's programs enroll 9,206 remote learners. The bachelor of social work program connects degree-seekers interested in social work with rigorous industry-relevant education.

The social work program's online learning environment connects enrollees with peers and instructors, allowing them to fully benefit from the supportive remote community. The foundational and advanced topics covered in classes prepare learners with relevant knowledge for their future careers in social work. Internships, research projects, and other experiential learning opportunities help students practice hands-on skills to build their competency for a social work job. Career counseling, academic advising, and other institutional resources focused on student success are available to degree-seekers during the program.

Social work degree costs can be defrayed through funding opportunities found with the help of a financial aid officer. Scholarships, fellowships, and federal financial aid are some of the numerous funding opportunities available to the college's students. The institution awards financial aid to 98% of enrollees.

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#9

Huntington University

School Information
Location Huntington, Indiana
Admission Rate 75%
Graduation Rate 70%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 19% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

A private institution, Huntington University provides flexible education opportunities to all kinds of degree-seekers. Remote learners from around the United States pick from six virtual bachelor's programs at the Huntington, Indiana-based school. Of these, the top-ranking bachelor of science in social work program attracts degree-seekers interested in a social work-related career.

Students enrolled in social work connect with supportive peers and distinguished faculty members. Furthering personal and professional goals is made easier for degree-seekers with the remote classroom environment's career-relevant coursework and projects. Faculty-driven research, internships, and externships are some of the opportunities learners can explore. Degree-seekers work with advisors to customize their academic experience by choosing electives and tailoring coursework to their individual needs and interests.

Many different internal and external opportunities for financial assistance help learners pay for their degree. Students meeting eligibility requirements benefit from different kinds of financial aid, including scholarships and fellowships. Some type of financial assistance helps 95% of enrollees reduce the price of their education at the college.

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#10

Liberty University

School Information
Location Lynchburg, Virginia
Admission Rate 51%
Graduation Rate 47%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 92% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Liberty University's bachelor of social work degree is a great choice for students seeking a flexible education to prepare them for the field. A total of 78,511 remote learners get a top education from the private college, which offers 30 online bachelor's programs.

The bachelor of social work program provides students with the tools they need for a successful career in social work. The variety of classes in the curriculum benefits enrollees, giving them broad knowledge of both foundational and advanced social work topics. Hands-on learning experiences let degree-seekers deepen their knowledge of the industry to help their career aspirations. Learners can also gain valuable knowledge from internships, externships, and applied research projects. During the course of their program, students can speak with academic advising and career services for guidance.

Internal and external funding opportunities like scholarships and fellowships help enrollees lower their degree's cost. A leader in distance learning, the college supports students' educational endeavors with financial assistance, awarding aid to 99% of degree-seekers.

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