Affordable Online Counseling Degrees

Professional counselors work in a variety of settings to provide mental health support to individuals, couples, and families. Drawing on foundational psychological theories and principles, they analyze multiple variables to determine which counseling approach will lead to the best outcome for their clients. Counselors must not only be good listeners; they must also understand how environmental and cultural factors can affect the counseling process and outcome.

While most licensed counselors have earned at least a master’s degree, a bachelor’s degree can lead to educational and career opportunities that aren’t available with an associate degree. Generally, an undergraduate counseling curriculum is designed to provide a solid basis in the fundamentals of counseling psychology. Along with developing critical thinking and research skills, students cultivate an understanding of the ways people communicate. These skills can later be put to use in numerous specialized fields, from addictions counseling to family therapy.

Despite a job growth rate of 19% — double the national average — counseling can be a difficult field to enter. And with a median salary of around $43,190 a year, it’s not always the most lucrative. People tend to pursue counseling because they are passionate about their work and helping others.

If you’re concerned about the cost of tuition at brick-and-mortar universities, or you need to balance your studies with other commitments, you may be interested in earning an affordable bachelor degree in counseling online. Combining rigorous academic standards with the flexibility of distance learning, the accredited programs in our ranked list offer the lowest tuition rates and the highest ROI. Read ahead to find a cheap online counseling degree program that’s right for you.

Most Affordable Online Bachelor's Degrees in Counseling
Rank School Score Toggle Content

Summit University of Pennsylvania

Value Score 6.26
Average Tuition $21,850
Students Receiving Financial Aid 74%
Net Price $14,405
Graduation Rate 56%
Student to Faculty Ratio 11:1
Admissions Rate 61%
Enrollment Rate 51%
Retention Rate 51%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 47
Number of Online Programs 6

Clarks Summit University offers two, affordable online programs in counseling. Courses are taught through a Christian perspective. The school's 123-credit bachelor’s degree in counseling online is comprised of counseling and psychology courses. This degree is best suited for students planning to move on to advanced educational training. Classes include dynamics of discipleship, women counseling women, and more. The counseling ministries major focuses more on the use of ministry as counseling, and requires 122 credits. Students who focus on ministry are prepared to move into church counseling after graduation. Classes include pastoral counseling and marriage and family dynamics.

Classes are taught asynchronously, and the program takes about four years to complete. Applicants must fill out an online application, complete a resume, submit an essay response, complete an interview with an admissions counselor, and more. Students must have a 2.0 GPA and demonstrate a commitment to the Christian faith. Online tuition is offered at a discounted rate.

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Southwestern Assemblies of God University

Value Score 5.95
Average Tuition $18,300
Students Receiving Financial Aid 74%
Net Price $22,216
Graduation Rate 44%
Student to Faculty Ratio 14:1
Admissions Rate 28%
Enrollment Rate 70%
Retention Rate 70%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 59
Number of Online Programs 21

Southwestern Assemblies of God, located in Waxahachie, Texas, offers a cheap bachelor’s degree in counseling online. The program prepares students to work in churches and other settings. Courses include addictive behavior and recovery, psychology of selfhood and the Christian faith, and human sexuality. 127 credits are required to graduate, with each semester including a mandatory religion course. Students may enroll in a single three-hour experiential learning credit course to demonstrate previous work experience and knowledge. They can receive up to 45 credits.

Courses are taught asynchronously, with material available through Blackboard. Staff and faculty are available to meet on campus. Applicants must fill out the online application form and submit high school transcripts demonstrating at least a 2.0 GPA. Transfer students must also submit transcripts from their previous colleges. Students are also required to demonstrate a commitment to the Christian faith. Two summer sessions are currently open for enrollment, the first starting on May 8th, the second starting on June 6th. This degree may be completed at an accelerated pace.

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Liberty University

Value Score 5.79
Average Tuition $19,569
Students Receiving Financial Aid 75%
Net Price $23,150
Graduation Rate 49%
Student to Faculty Ratio 18:1
Admissions Rate 22%
Enrollment Rate 45%
Retention Rate 45%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 90
Number of Online Programs 7

Liberty University offers an online counseling degree in psychology with a focus on Christian counseling, preparing students for psychology and counseling positions in non-clinical settings. Students must complete 120 credit-hours, including a three credit hour internship. The program is offered in an accelerated format, it starts in the fall and ends in the summer. The curriculum includes general education requirements such as composition & rhetoric and major-specific courses such as social psychology, issues in Christian counseling, and behavioral modification.

To apply, students must fill out the online application form or mail in a hard-copy, including high school transcripts and a $50 application fee. A 2.0 GPA is required for eligibility, but students who do not meet that requirement may talk to an admission counselor for possible exceptions. Liberty University is a nonprofit institution and has some of the lowest tuition rates among online universities. The school is also committed to providing education to members and former members of the military, and offer several discounts and scholarships.

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Toccoa Falls College

Value Score 5.65
Average Tuition $20,110
Students Receiving Financial Aid 66%
Net Price $18,029
Graduation Rate 46%
Student to Faculty Ratio 13:1
Admissions Rate 45%
Enrollment Rate 43%
Retention Rate 43%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 41
Number of Online Programs 8

Toccoa Falls College offers in-person and online degrees in counseling psychology. The program’s faculty contains professors with real-world counseling experience, with expertise in adventure-based counseling, human sexuality, and gender identity. The online counseling degree requires students to earn 126 credits and is designed to be completed in two years. Students are required to take 72 credits of general education prerequisites like Bible and theology and social sciences in addition to 54 credits in the major. Major courses include Christ-centered counseling and crisis and trauma therapy. Courses are taught asynchronously.

Distance learners are welcome on campus for events, face-to-face meetings, and chapel services. Applicants must fill out the online admission form, and pay a $30 application fee. Toccoa Falls online programs are ranked #2 for Best Online College in Georgia. The school also offers counselors to help you through the online admission process.

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Crossroads College

Value Score 5.64
Average Tuition $15,560
Students Receiving Financial Aid 60%
Net Price $13,657
Graduation Rate 28%
Student to Faculty Ratio 8:1
Admissions Rate 79%
Enrollment Rate 74%
Retention Rate 74%
Percentage of Students in Online Programs 26
Number of Online Programs 2

Crossroads College, located in Rochester, Minnesota, is a Christian college that offers online and on-campus bachelor’s programs in counseling. The online counseling degree plan requires 120 credits. Students have the option to complete the program in an accelerated format. Classes are offered asynchronously. The program is designed for adult learners with previous college credits, or students looking to pursue graduate-level work for licensure. Courses include counseling and ethnic diversity, abnormal counseling, and theories of personality and psychotherapy. Students must take the intro to psychology course before being admitted into the program.

Applicants are required to complete an online application form, a lifestyle expectations form, a writing sample, two professional recommendations, a pastoral or spiritual leader reference, and high school and college transcripts. Scholarships are available for pastors and spouses of pastors.

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