2020 Most Affordable Online Colleges for Social Work Degrees

By the OnlineU team | Updated 8/25/2021
2020 Most Affordable Social Work Bachelors Degrees Badge
By the OnlineU team | Updated 8/25/2021

These 23 colleges offer the most affordable online bachelor's in social work degrees. Wichita State University is the #1 school on the list, offering a tuition rate of $6,708 annually. Ranked #2, Eastern New Mexico University-Main Campus offers a Bachelor of Social Work at a tuition rate of $7,492 annually. Classes for this program include Human Behavior in the Social Environment, Inside Family Violence, Perspectives in Mental Health, Public Child Welfare, Social Welfare Policy, Southwest Peoples and Culture, and Working with Aging Populations. Below, we provide information about whether an online bachelor's in social work is worth it, degrees that go well with social work, and job outlook for social work graduates.

You can read more about our ranked schools below or browse our 2020 rankings of the most affordable online MSW programs. View our methodology or learn more about OnlineU.

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All tuition numbers were manually collected and verified
Rank School Annual Tuition
# 1 #1 Wichita State University $6,708
# 2 #2 Eastern New Mexico University-Main Campus $7,492
# 4 #4 Briar Cliff University $9,960
# 5 #5 Lewis-Clark State College $9,989
# 6 #6 Troy University $10,140
# 7 #7 University of Cincinnati $10,492
# 8 #8 Liberty University $11,700
# 9 #9 University of Nebraska at Kearney $11,880
# 10 #10 King University $11,895
# 11 #11 Campbellsville University $11,970
# 12 #12 Touro University Worldwide $12,000
# 13 #13 University of North Dakota $12,120
# 14 #14 Eastern Kentucky University $12,270
# 15 #15 Aurora University $12,750
# 16 #16 Virginia Wesleyan University $12,768
# 17 #17 Indiana Wesleyan University Online $12,780
# 18 #18 Limestone College $13,230
# 19 #19 Misericordia University $13,330
# 20 #20 Brescia University $13,600
# 21 #21 Western New Mexico University $15,231
# 22 #22 The University of Tennessee - Knoxville $15,270
# 23 #23 Malone University $15,810
#1
#1
Annual Tuition: $6,708
Annual Tuition: $6,708
Annual Tuition: $6,708

Wichita State University (WSU) offers an online Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) program with a concentration in Social Work through the Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS). The social work specialization does not lead to licensure in the field. The BGS degree is intended for students who have multiple academic interests and wish to customize their degree program. The 120-credit BGS program requires that students complete 94 LAS credits and 33 credits of major area requirements....

Online coursework is delivered on the Blackboard learning management platform, where students have access to readings, exercises, discussion forums, lecture videos, assignments, and quizzes. WSU offers the resident tuition rate for all online programs. Online learners have access to electronic library resources, the online writing center, technology help desk, and testing services. Online student success tools and resources are also available, including an online student development series and OneStop services, which support students in the areas of admission, financial aid, registration, advising, and Blackboard.

First-year applicants must submit an online application and official high school transcripts (or equivalent), have a minimum GPA of 2.25, and an ACT/SAT score of 21/1080, respectively. Transfer students must complete an online application and submit official transcripts with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0. They must also meet all first-year student requirements.

  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 89%
  • Graduation Rate: 50%
  • Acceptance Rate: 94%
  • Average SATs: 1030 -1270
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 2,272
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 632
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC

Example Classes: Cooperative Education, Forensic Social Work, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Studies, Sexual Assault Issues, Social Work & Entrepreneurship, Women and Compassion Fatigue

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of General Studies - Social Work
#2
#2
Annual Tuition: $7,492
Annual Tuition: $7,492
Annual Tuition: $7,492

Eastern New Mexico University (ENMU) offers a fully-online Bachelor of Social Work program. The curriculum follows the guidelines of the Council on Social Work Education to prepare students to be ethical and effective generalist practitioners in settings, including health/mental health, child welfare, community-based organizations, and schools. The 57-credit hour program can be completed in four semesters with a full-time course load. Students must complete a field placement at an area of interest... with support from faculty, field supervisors, and liaisons during their senior year.

Online classes follow a blended asynchronous and synchronous format and may require live participation. Coursework is delivered through Mediasite and Blackboard learning platforms, where students can view recorded lectures, connect with instructors, and complete assignments, readings, labs, tests, and projects. The ENMU Foundation, Enrollment Services Offices, and academic departments offer scholarships to current, incoming, and military/veteran students. Online students have access to a variety of resources, including academic advising, tutoring services, an online writing center, and the Golden Library.

Applications into the program are accepted in the fall and spring semesters. Prospective students must submit an ENMU undergraduate application, an ENMU social work program application, official transcripts with a minimum 2.5 GPA, an essay, and three references. They must also complete an entrance interview.

  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 97%
  • Graduation Rate: 36%
  • Acceptance Rate: 60%
  • Average SATs: 900 -1110
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,514
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 917
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC

Example Classes: Human Behavior in the Social Environment, Inside Family Violence, Perspectives in Mental Health, Public Child Welfare, Social Welfare Policy, Southwest Peoples and Cultures, Working with Aging Populations

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Social Work
#4
#4

Briar Cliff University

Sioux City (IA)
Annual Tuition: $9,960
Annual Tuition: $9,960
Annual Tuition: $9,960
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 72%
  • Graduation Rate: 40%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 162
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 160
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC

Example Classes: Community Organization, History and General Method of Social Work, Human Behavior and the Social Environment, Social Issues and Policy

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Social Work (Degree Completion)
#5
#5
Annual Tuition: $9,989
Annual Tuition: $9,989
Annual Tuition: $9,989
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 94%
  • Graduation Rate: 38%
  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • Average SATs: 870 -1110
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 669
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NWCCU

Example Classes: Biological Bases Of Behavior, Diversity Awareness in Social Work Practice, General Practice in Macro-interventions, Generalist Practice in Mezzo-intervention, Generalist Practice in Microinterventions

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Social Work
#6
#6

Troy University

Troy (AL)
Annual Tuition: $10,140
Annual Tuition: $10,140
Annual Tuition: $10,140
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 92%
  • Graduation Rate: 47%
  • Acceptance Rate: 88%
  • Average SATs: 930 -1090
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 4,633
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 2,088
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC

Example Classes: Diversity, Ethics, Profession Communications Skills, Social Policy and Planning

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • BS in Social Work
#7
#7

University of Cincinnati

Cincinnati (OH) (and 1 other)
Annual Tuition: $10,492
Annual Tuition: $10,492
Annual Tuition: $10,492
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 75%
  • Graduation Rate: 71%
  • Acceptance Rate: 76%
  • Average SATs: 1120 -1350
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 2,455
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 3,731
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC

Example Classes: Families in America, Mental Health Perspectives in Social Work, Poverty in America, Professional Issues for Social Workers

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Social Work
#8
#8

Liberty University

Lynchburg (VA)
Annual Tuition: $11,700
Annual Tuition: $11,700
Annual Tuition: $11,700
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 99%
  • Graduation Rate: 47%
  • Acceptance Rate: 30%
  • Average SATs: 1040 -1260
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 34,092
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 36,337
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC

Example Classes: Chemical Dependency, Ethics in Professional Helping, Human Behavior & the Social Environment, Social Welfare & Policy, Social Work Practice with Groups, Social Work Practice with Individuals & Families

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • BS: Social Work
#9
#9
Annual Tuition: $11,880
Annual Tuition: $11,880
Annual Tuition: $11,880
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 94%
  • Graduation Rate: 56%
  • Acceptance Rate: 82%
  • Average SATs: 990 -1168
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 487
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,643
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC

Example Classes: Aging Services, Child Abuse and Neglect, Medical Social Work, School Social Work, Social Work in Legal Settings, Violence Across the Lifespan

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Social Work Comprehensive
#10
#10

King University

Bristol (TN)
Annual Tuition: $11,895
Annual Tuition: $11,895
Annual Tuition: $11,895
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 92%
  • Graduation Rate: 59%
  • Acceptance Rate: 51%
  • Average SATs: 990 -1205
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 708
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 172
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC

Example Classes: Historical Foundations and Contemporary Issues, Human Diversity and Ethical Issues, Writing for Social Workers

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Social Work
#11
#11

Campbellsville University

Campbellsville (KY)
Annual Tuition: $11,970
Annual Tuition: $11,970
Annual Tuition: $11,970
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 94%
  • Graduation Rate: 36%
  • Acceptance Rate: 69%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 913
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 944
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC

Example Classes: Addictions, Child Abuse & Interventions, Child Abuse & Neglect, Crisis Intervention, Death, Dying and Bereavement, Foster Care & Adoption, Human Rights, Marriage and Family

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Social Work
#12
#12

Touro University Worldwide

Los Angeles (CA)
Annual Tuition: $12,000
Annual Tuition: $12,000
Annual Tuition: $12,000
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 90%
  • Graduation Rate: 100%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 466
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,414
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: WASC WSCUC

Example Classes: Domestic Violence, Drug and Alcohol Treatment in Social Work, Military Approach to Social Work, Social Justice and Diversity, Social Work with Older Adults, Youth-at-Risk

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • BA - Social Work
#13
#13

University of North Dakota

Grand Forks (ND)
Annual Tuition: $12,120
Annual Tuition: $12,120
Annual Tuition: $12,120
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 92%
  • Graduation Rate: 61%
  • Acceptance Rate: 83%
  • Average SATs: 1010 -1250
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,851
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,500
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC

Example Classes: Child Welfare, Cooperative Education, Generalist Social Work Practice with Communities and Organizations, Generalist Social Work Practice with Individuals and Families, Generalist Social Work Practice with Task and Treatment Groups, Human Behavior and the Social Environment I, Orientation to Gerontology, Social Policy, Social Work & the Legal Process, Social Work Research, Substance Use and Abuse

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Social Work (BSSW)
#14
#14
Annual Tuition: $12,270
Annual Tuition: $12,270
Annual Tuition: $12,270
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 98%
  • Graduation Rate: 45%
  • Acceptance Rate: 87%
  • Average SATs: 990 -1170
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 2,187
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,386
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC

Example Classes: Addictions, Assessing Needs of Older Adults, Crisis Intervention, Racial and Ethnic Relations, Social Welfare Policy History, Stress Management and Self-Care

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • BSW (Bachelor of Social Work)
#15
#15

Aurora University

Aurora (IL)
Annual Tuition: $12,750
Annual Tuition: $12,750
Annual Tuition: $12,750
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
  • Graduation Rate: 54%
  • Acceptance Rate: 87%
  • Average SATs: 965 -1130
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 388
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 735
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC

Example Classes: Individuals and Families, Social Work with Communities and Organizations, Social Work with Groups

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Social Work
#16
#16
Annual Tuition: $12,768
Annual Tuition: $12,768
Annual Tuition: $12,768
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
  • Graduation Rate: 48%
  • Acceptance Rate: 70%
  • Average SATs: 950 -1180
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 73
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 94
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC

Example Classes: Aging in the Media, Human Sexuality, Legislation, Policy and Administration, Lifespan Development and Behavior

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Arts in Social Science - Social Welfare
#17
#17
Annual Tuition: $12,780
Annual Tuition: $12,780
Annual Tuition: $12,780
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 93%
  • Graduation Rate: 53%
  • Average SATs: 1020 -1230
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 6,185
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 3,637
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC

Example Classes: Human Behavior and the Social Environment I, Minority Group Relations, Social Problems, Social Research, Social Welfare Organization

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • B.S. Social Work
#18
#18

Limestone College

Gaffney (SC)
Annual Tuition: $13,230
Annual Tuition: $13,230
Annual Tuition: $13,230
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 99%
  • Graduation Rate: 33%
  • Acceptance Rate: 50%
  • Average SATs: 970 -1160
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 678
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 0
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC

Example Classes: Introduction to Social Work as a Profession, Practice with Culturally Diverse Populations, Social Welfare Programs and Policy, Social Work Intervention: Large Groups and Community Organization, Social Work Specialized Groups, The Influence of Sexual Factors on Behavior

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Social Work
#19
#19
Annual Tuition: $13,330
Annual Tuition: $13,330
Annual Tuition: $13,330
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
  • Graduation Rate: 68%
  • Acceptance Rate: 79%
  • Average SATs: 1050 -1220
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 193
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 70
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: MSCHE

Example Classes: Adaptive Behavior, Developing Cultural Competence with Children and Families, Drug Pharmacology, Trauma and Resiliency

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Social Work
#20
#20

Brescia University

Owensboro (KY)
Annual Tuition: $13,600
Annual Tuition: $13,600
Annual Tuition: $13,600
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
  • Graduation Rate: 34%
  • Acceptance Rate: 42%
  • Average SATs: 1000 -1260
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 345
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 52
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC

Example Classes: Ethical Considerations in Social Work, Human Behavior in the Social Environment I, Social Issues in Diversity, Social Welfare Policy, Social Work and Aging

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Social Work
#21
#21
Annual Tuition: $15,231
Annual Tuition: $15,231
Annual Tuition: $15,231
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 95%
  • Graduation Rate: 34%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 487
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 625
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC

Example Classes: Ethics in Social Work/Human Services, General Psychology, Macro Practice in Social Work, Micro Practice in Social Work, Writing for Social Work

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Social Work
#22
#22
Annual Tuition: $15,270
Annual Tuition: $15,270
Annual Tuition: $15,270
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 91%
  • Graduation Rate: 72%
  • Acceptance Rate: 77%
  • Average SATs: 1150 -1330
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 112
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,013
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC

Example Classes: Human Behavior and the Social Environment, Interviewing Skills and the Helping Relationship in Social Work Practice, Understanding Diversity in a Global Society

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Social Work
#23
#23

Malone University

Canton (OH)
Annual Tuition: $15,810
Annual Tuition: $15,810
Annual Tuition: $15,810
  • Online Degrees: 1
  • Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
  • Graduation Rate: 54%
  • Acceptance Rate: 66%
  • Average SATs: 925 -1183
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 115
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 182
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC

Example Classes: Community and Organizational Development, Field Instruction in Social Work, History of Social Welfare, Human Behavior and Social Environment, Methods of Social Research, Professional Issues in Social Work, Social Welfare Policy Analysis

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Arts in Social Work (Degree Completion)

Can You Earn a Social Work Degree Online?

Absolutely — we’ve listed the most affordable online bachelor’s degrees in social work above. OnlineU.com also ranks the 25 best online degrees by their return on investment, which considers future debt and earnings alongside tuition.

Social work degrees are increasingly available online. A 2019 report from the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) noted that 84.6% of U.S. bachelor’s programs deliver at least some of their required courses virtually. Even more master’s programs in social work are offered remotely, with 30% delivered completely online. Since students obtaining a Master of Social Work (MSW) are often older than undergraduates, they may be more likely to have full-time jobs and family responsibilities, making the flexibility of online degrees even more attractive.

Many master’s programs in social work are offered remotely, with 30% delivered completely online.

Like many program-accreditation bodies, the CSWE is slowly starting to accredit distance-learning programs. As more schools offer hybrid or fully online programs, the stigma around online degrees is fading. Human Resource (HR) managers have publicly called for companies to consider graduates of online programs so as not to ignore worthy candidates. In fact, a study found that the majority of HR professionals view online degrees as equal to in-person versions.


Is an Online Social Work Degree Worth It?

While no catch-all answer to this question exists, individuals should consider a couple of key matters. In terms of salary, for example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a median annual wage of $51,760. This is about $10,000 more than the median wage of all occupations in the U.S. The industry outlook is also positive. However, it’s important to note that most social workers eventually earn an MSW, and many hold licenses. These achievements skew the data because licensed MSW graduates often qualify for higher-paying positions than Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) graduates.

Social workers report high levels of job satisfaction, according to a 2017 CWSE report. Over 90% of BSW-level professionals said they were very or somewhat satisfied with their current positions, and about 80% of the same group were very or somewhat satisfied with their salaries.


Can I Get Hired With an Online Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work?

Yes — an online bachelor’s degree can qualify graduates for a wide range of entry-level jobs, such as caseworkers (in government agencies or non-profits), probation officers, substance abuse counselors, or aides to mental health professionals. A bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement for most positions in the field of social work. As long as it’s from an accredited institution, the stigma surrounding online education is swiftly eroding, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even before this, a 2019 survey of HR leaders found that 61% view the quality of online degrees as equal to in-person degrees.

The stigma surrounding online education is swiftly eroding, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although social work jobs may require a bachelor’s degree, it doesn’t necessarily need to be in social work. In a 2020 survey by the CSWE, 8.6% of responding social workers claimed their job required a bachelor’s degree in social work, but another 9.9% said their job required a bachelor’s degree in any subject. Most respondents, however, worked in jobs requiring a master’s degree, which suggests that most social workers eventually pursue a higher degree. Social work graduates may also get a job in another field that requires a bachelor’s degree. This employment could enable them to earn money while they pursue an MSW or allow them to pivot toward another career entirely.


Common Bachelor of Social Work Courses

BSW programs give students the knowledge, skills, and experience to enter the workforce as social work generalists. The coursework introduces students to social work theories, policies, and strategies, which they can eventually use to help individuals and communities thrive. Graduation requirements often include supervised practice hours that occur over the course of one or two semesters. The following list describes some standard classes that may be included in a BSW program:

  • Human Behavior: A course on human behavior focuses on understanding how people act and respond to external factors. The coursework explores how psychological, biological, and social factors may influence and motivate human behavior. Students may also learn about mental health and behavioral disorders.
  • Introduction to Social Work: Built around the core concept of influencing change in challenging situations, this introductory course provides an overview of the primary values and practices associated with social work. The coursework explains the key principles and practices that guide this profession and addresses contemporary issues, such as diversity and social justice.
  • Social Welfare Policy: In this course, students gain a deeper understanding of social policies designed to protect people from poverty while promoting their well-being. The coursework covers policies related to fundamental issues and populations, including mental health, healthcare, child protection, and eldercare.
  • Social Work Generalist Practice: This essential skill-building course often lasts two or more terms. Moving beyond theory, students can practice intervention methods and processes while delving into ethical issues that deepen their understanding of integrity, dignity, and service.
  • Social Work Research: At the bachelor's level, this course introduces research methods that apply to social work programs and practice. Students practice the key steps involved in research, which include the following: (1) formulate a topic, (2) gather data, (3) analyze evidence, and (4) apply the acquired knowledge.

What Degrees Go Well With Social Work?

Several disciplines are natural companions to social work studies. Since many social workers help those with challenges, such as poverty and discrimination, it may be constructive to accompany a social work degree with a degree in sociology, political science, public health, or law. This pairing would likely improve one’s understanding of the systemic and cultural factors underlying these issues. This pursuit may also help a social worker qualify for a job related to public policy, where they could advocate for improvements.

Students who want to be licensed clinical social workers can benefit from studying psychology. Eventually, they would need to diagnose a variety of mental health and emotional issues. To encourage behavioral or environmental changes, they would also need to design treatment plans. Thus, a psychology degree may come in handy.

Social workers seeking a career in corrections may consider adding a criminal justice major or minor alongside their social work degree. It’s worth noting that this sector is growing at 4% annually, which is the average for U.S. occupations but significantly slower than the 13% growth enjoyed by general and clinical social workers.

Finally, students who want to manage a social service team may consider studying business or nonprofit management alongside social work. This extra work at the onset can potentially benefit students in the long run by positioning them on a higher-paying career path.


Funding an Online Bachelor of Social Work

Whether a student earns their BSW online or on campus, they may be eligible for scholarships. Due to a shortage of social workers in certain areas, some state governments have established scholarships to encourage more people to enter the field. The state's Department of Higher Education has more information on grants, scholarships, and loan-forgiveness programs specifically designated for social work majors. Two national organizations — the CSWE and the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) — also provide several funding opportunities. Additionally, some humanitarian/religious organizations offer privately funded social work scholarships:

To offset education costs, some students are eligible for a variety of financial aid opportunities. Depending on financial need, a grant or scholarship may be available, which students do not need to pay back. Meanwhile, a federally funded student loan would probably have a lower interest rate and superior repayment terms than a private loan from a bank.

While attending accredited colleges, online social work majors are also eligible for federal, state, and school-sponsored financial aid. If interested, students should apply for financial aid by submitting the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA). Representatives from the federal government and university evaluate applications to determine qualification.

There may be some restrictions regarding eligibility for financial aid. For example, a student may have to attend classes full time, have in-state residency, or enroll with an accredited school to be eligible. For more information, students may contact the financial aid office at their chosen school.


What Other Factors Should I Consider in My Online Social Work Program Besides Affordability?

Research suggests that most online students prefer small class sizes that allow them to engage closely with their professors. Some students also cite accessible and helpful resources as a factor in their positive reviews, including engaged academic advisers, a well-connected career services office, and physical/mental health counseling for distance learners.

Research suggests that most online students prefer small class sizes that allow them to engage closely with their professors.

Some schools require internships or field placements as part of the degree pathway. These opportunities can be a helpful boost to students’ professional networks and provide real-world experience that can be cited in job applications and interviews.

Another important factor to consider when choosing a program is course delivery and accessibility. Are the courses completely synchronous? How long will the degree take to complete? Is the school willing and able to accommodate an online student’s disability? Prospective students should review each school’s program and its “about us” page for information on these factors as well as others, like graduation and employment rates.