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Any­one who is inter­est­ed in a career in an afford­able human ser­vices degree should feel encour­aged that their chances for a sol­id career path are strong. The field of human ser­vices is a broad one in the pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tors. The pri­vate sec­tor employs peo­ple with human resource degrees to help them nav­i­gate the needs of their employ­ees and cus­tomers in order to be more suc­cess­ful. The pub­lic sec­tor is equal­ly var­ied in terms of employ­ment roles for those with human ser­vices degrees with some paths lead­ing to the field of pol­i­tics or policymaking.

When look­ing at the most afford­able human ser­vices degrees, look at schools that you might not oth­er­wise con­sid­er. There are small uni­ver­si­ties and col­leges that are respect­ed, have a long his­to­ry of excel­lence in edu­ca­tion, and offer online class­es that pro­vide qual­i­ty edu­ca­tion. Some­times these schools offer the most afford­able human ser­vices degrees, and have a pres­ti­gious rep­u­ta­tion despite their small stature. You’ll be able to save mon­ey on your degree while get­ting a sol­id edu­ca­tion that is tak­en seri­ous­ly by poten­tial employers.

Methodology: Ranking the Most Affordable Human Services Degrees

To rank the most afford­able human ser­vices degrees, Bachelor’s Degree Cen­ter edi­tors focused on accred­it­ed, rep­utable insti­tu­tions so stu­dents can feel con­fi­dent that their degrees will have val­ue. For the actu­al rank­ing order, how­ev­er, edi­tors arranged pro­grams accord­ing to their tuition cost, as report­ed to IPEDS.

1. Columbia College

Colum­bia Col­lege of Mis­souri offers a Human Ser­vices BS or BA either on-cam­pus or online, rec­og­nized among the most afford­able human ser­vices degrees in the nation. Degree can­di­dates enter the work­force with skills for careers in pol­i­cy devel­op­ment, pro­ba­tion, coun­sel­ing, the court sys­tem, and local gov­ern­ment lev­els. Each of Colum­bia Col­lege’s bac­calau­re­ate degree pro­grams in human resources requires degree can­di­dates to com­plete 120 semes­ter cred­its to meet pro­gram requirements.

Colum­bia Col­lege was found­ed in 1851 as a Female col­lege for Chris­t­ian stud­ies. The school oper­ates many cam­pus­es in four­teen states and on mil­i­tary bases to serve mil­i­tary mem­bers. The college’s urban cam­pus is home to about 1,900 under­grad­u­ate students.

What We Like: Colum­bia Col­lege oper­ates as a non­sec­tar­i­an insti­tu­tion of high­er learn­ing but has main­tained a covenant with the Dis­ci­ples of Christ, Chris­t­ian Church.

Degree: Human Ser­vices, BS/BA

Colum­bia Col­lege of Mis­souri Human Ser­vices BS or BA

2. CUNY College of Technology

The CUNY Col­lege of Tech­nol­o­gy offers a BS in Human Ser­vices that can be com­plet­ed on the school’s Brook­lyn cam­pus. City Tech’s most afford­able human ser­vices degrees include course­work in coun­sel­ing meth­ods, child psy­chol­o­gy, geron­tol­ogy, resource devel­op­ment in human ser­vices, plus a pro­fes­sion­al intern­ship in a human ser­vices-relat­ed posi­tion. Total semes­ter cred­its for degree can­di­dates to grad­u­ate equal 120 semes­ter cred­its, with 60 cred­its ded­i­cat­ed to the cho­sen human ser­vices major.

The City Uni­ver­si­ty of New York (CUNY) Col­lege of Tech­nol­o­gy was estab­lished in 1946. City Tech is a mem­ber school the City of Uni­ver­si­ty of New York (CUNY) sys­tem with cam­pus­es through­out the five bor­oughs, with a stu­dent enroll­ment that exceeds 16,000 stu­dents. City Tech is orga­nized into three colleges/schools – Arts & Sci­ences, Pro­fes­sion­al Stud­ies, and Technology/Design.

What We Like: City Tech’s cam­pus near DUMBO.

Degree: Human Ser­vices, BS

CUNY Col­lege of Tech­nol­o­gy BS in Human Services

3. Post University

Post Uni­ver­si­ty offers an on-cam­pus BS in Human Ser­vices that is con­sid­ered as one of the most afford­able human ser­vices degrees on the east coast of the Unit­ed States. Post Uni­ver­si­ty’s under­grad­u­ate human resources pro­gram requires degree can­di­dates to com­plete 120 cred­it units, of which 60 cred­it units must be ded­i­cat­ed to the human ser­vices major. These class­es include social wel­fare, eth­i­cal issues, human behav­ior in soci­ety, mul­ti­cul­tur­al Issues in human resources, plus two rel­e­vant practicums in human services.

Post Uni­ver­si­ty (Post) was estab­lished in 1890 as an insti­tu­tion of high­er learn­ing that edu­cat­ed stu­dents in short­hand. Post Uni­ver­si­ty oper­ates a main cam­pus in Water­bury, plus satel­lite facil­i­ties in Dan­bury, Walling­ford, and Merid­i­an. Post Uni­ver­si­ty’s urban cam­pus cov­ers more than 50 acres. These cam­pus­es serve more than 7,100 students.

What We Like: The famous Post Tree is not­ed as one the state’s great nat­ur­al landmarks.

Degree: Human Ser­vices, BS

Post Uni­ver­si­ty BS in Human Services

4. Minot State University

Minot State Uni­ver­si­ty offers an on-cam­pus BS in Human Resources with a con­cen­tra­tion in Intellectual/Developmental Dis­abil­i­ties that is ranked as one of the most afford­able human ser­vices degrees in the nation. Course­work for MSU’s under­grad­u­ate human ser­vices degree pro­gram includes human devel­op­ment, assist­ing those with TBIs, pro­mot­ing inclu­sive oppor­tu­ni­ties, pos­i­tive behav­ior, plus a cul­mi­nat­ing senior sem­i­nar and a relat­ed externship.

Minot State Uni­ver­si­ty was found­ed in 1913 as a teacher train­ing col­lege. Minot State Uni­ver­si­ty’s rur­al cam­pus is home to approx­i­mate­ly 3,500 under­grad­u­ate and grad­u­ate students.

What We Like: Minot State Uni­ver­si­ty holds the dis­tinc­tion of being the 3rd insti­tu­tion of high­er learn­ing in the state of North Dako­ta and a mem­ber school of the North Dako­ta Uni­ver­si­ty System.

Degree: Human Ser­vices, BS

Minot State Uni­ver­si­ty BS in Human Resources

5. Monroe College

Mon­roe Col­lege offers a BS in Human Ser­vices that is deliv­ered online and on-cam­pus. Mon­roe College’s most afford­able human ser­vices degrees include course­work like human ser­vices admin­is­tra­tion, eth­i­cal issues, prin­ci­ples of inter­view­ing, cul­tur­al com­pe­ten­cy, plus sev­er­al man­dat­ed field expe­ri­ences, for a total of 120 semes­ter cred­its. Stu­dents grad­u­ate from Mon­roe’s pro­gram pre­pared for careers as a coun­selor, pro­ba­tion offi­cer, rehab coun­selor, sub­stance abuse coun­selor, or case man­ag­er, among oth­ers. Degree can­di­dates must com­plete two field practicum expe­ri­ences to meet grad­u­a­tion requirements.

Mon­roe Col­lege was estab­lished as a busi­ness, for-prof­it school in 1963. Mon­roe Col­lege oper­ates a num­ber of aca­d­e­m­ic satel­lite facil­i­ties in New York City, Westch­ester Coun­ty, and the Bronx. Mon­roe Col­lege’s urban cam­pus­es serve more than 6,500 students.

What We Like: Mon­roe Col­lege boasts a stu­dent-to-fac­ul­ty ratio of 15 to 1.

Degree: Human Ser­vices, BS

Mon­roe Col­lege BS in Human Services

6. University of Alaska — Anchorage

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Alas­ka Anchor­age offers Alaska’s most afford­able human ser­vices degrees with its Bach­e­lor of Human Ser­vices degree pro­gram. Stu­dents enrolled in UA Anchorage’s bac­calau­re­ate human ser­vices degree pro­gram must com­plete 120 semes­ter units to meet pro­gram require­ments. UA Anchorage’s under­grad­u­ate degree in human ser­vices requires the com­ple­tion of three relat­ed onsite practicums. Cur­ricu­lum guide­lines for this degree pro­gram have been aligned with the cri­te­ria set forth by the CSHSE – the accred­it­ing orga­ni­za­tion for human ser­vice aca­d­e­m­ic programs.

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Alas­ka at Anchor­age is a research insti­tu­tion of high­er edu­ca­tion that was estab­lished in 1954. UA of Anchor­age oper­ates found satel­lite cam­pus­es through­out the com­mu­ni­ty. Near­ly 18,000 stu­dents attend class­es on the Uni­ver­si­ty Alaska’s Anchor­age campuses.

What We Like: UA Anchor­age is the largest uni­ver­si­ty in the state’s uni­ver­si­ty sys­tem and in the state of Alas­ka. The school’s cam­pus is rec­og­nized as a Tree Cam­pus USA.

Degree: Bach­e­lor of Human Services

Uni­ver­si­ty of Alas­ka Anchor­age Bach­e­lor of Human Services

7. University of Maine Augusta

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Maine Augus­ta offers a BS in Men­tal Health & Human Ser­vices that is avail­able online and on-cam­pus, which is ranked among the most afford­able human ser­vices degrees. Degree can­di­dates enrolled in the Uni­ver­si­ty of Maine Augus­ta’s under­grad­u­ate human ser­vices pro­gram must com­plete 121 semes­ter cred­its to meet pro­gram require­ments. Six­ty-nine cred­its must be com­plet­ed from the human ser­vices cur­ricu­lum with course­work that includes coun­sel­ing, com­mu­ni­ty men­tal health, sub­stance abuse dis­or­der, case man­age­ment, super­vi­sion in human ser­vices, plus a man­dat­ed practicum.

The Uni­ver­si­ty of Maine Augus­ta was estab­lished in 1965 as a pub­lic insti­tu­tion of high­er learn­ing and a mem­ber school of the Uni­ver­si­ty Sys­tem of Maine. The school’s urban cam­pus in cen­tral Maine, plus the satel­lite cam­pus­es are home to more than 6,0000 students.

What We Like: The Uni­ver­si­ty of Maine Augus­ta is best known for its online library sci­ence degree program.

Degree: Men­tal Health & Human Ser­vices, BS

Uni­ver­si­ty of Maine Augus­ta BS in Men­tal Health & Human Services

8. Fort Hays State University

Fort Hays State Uni­ver­si­ty offers a Human Ser­vices Bach­e­lor of Gen­er­al Stud­ies (BGS) that is con­sid­ered one of the most afford­able human ser­vices degrees in the state of Kansas. Fort Hays State University’s stu­dents enrolled in the under­grad­u­ate human ser­vices degree pro­gram must com­plete 120 semes­ter cred­its to meet FHSU’s pro­gram require­ments. Course­work for Fort Hays State University’s bac­calau­re­ate pro­gram in human ser­vices includes 54 semes­ter hours of class­es in the human ser­vices major.

Fort Hays State Uni­ver­si­ty (FHSU) was estab­lished in 1902 as a west­ern locat­ed teacher’s train­ing school in Kansas. The uni­ver­si­ty’s rur­al cam­pus cov­ers more than 175 acres and serves near­ly 16,000 stu­dents, with the Big Creek stream mean­der­ing through campus.

What We Like: Fort Hays State Uni­ver­si­ty is one of the six mem­ber schools gov­erned by the Kansas Regents Board.

Degree: Human Ser­vices, BGS

Fort Hays State Uni­ver­si­ty Human Ser­vices Bach­e­lor of Gen­er­al Studies

9. SUNY Empire State College

SUN­Y’s Empire State Col­lege offers a BS in Com­mu­ni­ty and Human Ser­vices that is con­sid­ered one of the most afford­able human ser­vices degrees on the east coast of the Unit­ed States. Empire State College’s afford­able pro­gram is avail­able on-cam­pus only. Stu­dents enrolled in Empire State College’s human ser­vice bac­calau­re­ate degree pro­gram must com­plete 124 semes­ter cred­its to meet grad­u­a­tion requirements.

The Empire State Col­lege was estab­lished in 1971 and is a mem­ber school of the State Uni­ver­si­ty of New York with sev­er­al facil­i­ties through the NY empire region. The school’s 34 loca­tions pri­mar­i­ly serv­ing adult learn­ers. More than 10,000 stu­dents are study­ing for degrees offered by Empire State College.

What We Like: Empire State Col­lege part­ners with Anadolu Uni­ver­si­ty in the coun­try of Turkey to pro­vide an MBA program.

Degree: Com­mu­ni­ty and Human Ser­vice, BS

Empire State Col­lege BS in Com­mu­ni­ty and Human Services

10. Washburn University

Wash­burn Uni­ver­si­ty’s Depart­ment of Fam­i­ly and Human Ser­vices offers a Bach­e­lor of Applied Sci­ence (BAS) degree pro­gram in Fam­i­ly & Human Ser­vices that is rec­og­nized as one of the most afford­able human ser­vices degrees in Kansas. Wash­burn University’s under­grad­u­ate afford­able human ser­vices bac­calau­re­ate degree includes course­work like human devel­op­ment, social change, group coun­sel­ing, ser­vice coor­di­na­tion, the­o­ries of inter­ven­tion, youth, and vio­lence, plus two intern­ships in a relat­ed posi­tion. Total semes­ter cred­its required to meet Wash­burn Uni­ver­si­ty’s pro­gram require­ments equal to 120.

Wash­burn Uni­ver­si­ty was found­ed ini­tial­ly as Lin­coln Col­lege in 1865. This pub­lic insti­tu­tion of high­er education’s cam­pus in Tope­ka cov­ers 150+ urban acres and serves more than 6,100 students.

What We Like: Wash­burn Uni­ver­si­ty’s School of Law, is the first insti­tu­tion of high­er edu­ca­tion to devel­op a legal clin­ic where stu­dents can prac­tice law.

Degree: Fam­i­ly & Human Ser­vices, BS

Wash­burn Uni­ver­si­ty Fam­i­ly & Human Ser­vices, BS

How Do I Save Money on a Human Services Degree?

The desire and need to save mon­ey on a human ser­vices degree is under­stand­able. The field of human ser­vices is one that requires col­lege edu­ca­tion for entry, but you don’t have to get a mas­ter’s degree to find employ­ment. You can get a cer­tifi­cate, asso­ci­ate’s, or bach­e­lor’s degree and still find employ­ment in the human ser­vices field. Cer­tifi­cates and asso­ci­ate’s degrees are among the most afford­able human ser­vices degrees and you can take accel­er­at­ed cours­es for an asso­ci­ate’s degree that help you get employed while spend­ing less time in school.

Will a Certification Help My Career?

The short answer is: It depends. Human ser­vices cer­ti­fi­ca­tions are the most afford­able option for a degree in human ser­vices. They teach the basics of human ser­vices and require up to 24 cred­it hours for com­ple­tion. In the event you earn a cer­ti­fi­ca­tion in human ser­vices with­out any oth­er type of col­lege edu­ca­tion, you are more like­ly to start employ­ment in the role of an assis­tant or para­pro­fes­sion­al in human ser­vices. That’s not to say get­ting a human ser­vices cer­ti­fi­ca­tion is a bad idea for some­one who’s look­ing to explore the field as the skills learned are valu­able in oth­er fields. Some­one who is already employed in a sim­i­lar field and wants to enhance their resume and skill sets can ben­e­fit from tak­ing one of the many human ser­vices cer­ti­fi­ca­tion pro­grams avail­able through var­i­ous schools.

Human ser­vices cer­ti­fi­ca­tion pro­grams give a stu­dent an overview of the type of skills and knowl­edge nec­es­sary for the sec­tor. Advanced class­es are not taught at the cer­ti­fi­ca­tion lev­el and it may be more dif­fi­cult to learn nec­es­sary skills and knowl­edge on the job. A cer­ti­fi­ca­tion in human ser­vices will give a stu­dent a frame­work of knowl­edge to draw from that is use­ful in an entry lev­el human ser­vice posi­tion. How­ev­er, it won’t be suf­fi­cient enough to help a stu­dent advance in the field with­out addi­tion­al edu­ca­tion or a lot of time spent learn­ing on the job.

Some­one who has already gone to school and wants to enhance their career with the type of knowl­edge pro­vid­ed by human ser­vices cer­ti­fi­ca­tion pro­grams can ben­e­fit from earn­ing a cer­tifi­cate. Human ser­vices roles require an indi­vid­ual to under­stand human psy­chol­o­gy, be will­ing and able to help peo­ple with find­ing res­o­lu­tions to their needs, and have basic busi­ness skills. A human ser­vices cer­tifi­cate pro­gram teach­es these top­ics at a basic lev­el and can pro­vide an intro­duc­tion to some­one who’s new to the con­cepts. It can also enhance a stu­den­t’s exist­ing knowl­edge and have proof of that knowl­edge in the form of a certificate.

How Much Can I Make with a Bachelor’s in Human Services?

Accord­ing to the BLS, the medi­an pay for social work­ers is $50,470 per year. The BLS has many indi­vid­ual cat­e­gories that fall under the umbrel­la of the human ser­vices sec­tor, and social work­er is the most gen­er­al­ized cat­e­go­ry. It should be not­ed that the aver­age human ser­vices degree salary varies in accor­dance with edu­ca­tion and expe­ri­ence. Some­one who is fresh out of school may find that their salary is low­er or close to the aver­age human ser­vices degree salary. An indi­vid­ual who has work expe­ri­ence in anoth­er relat­ed field and is enter­ing the human ser­vices sec­tor with a cer­tifi­cate may find that they earn more than the aver­age with a degree in human ser­vices salary.

The poten­tial for salary growth in a human ser­vices degree salary is very strong. The BLS pre­dicts that the job growth out­look for human ser­vices is 11% through 2028. That per­cent­age is high­er than the aver­age job growth across all indus­tries accord­ing to the BLS. There is no guar­an­tee that the demand for peo­ple with human resource degrees will stay strong, but the BLS does not make its pre­dic­tions lightly.

There’s almost no lim­it to the type of employ­ment that’s open to some­one with a degree in human ser­vices. If you’re inter­est­ed in mak­ing a dif­fer­ence in peo­ple’s lives, the human resources sec­tor offers excit­ing career options and the poten­tial for increased earn­ings over time.

Relat­ed Rankings: 

25 Best Bach­e­lor’s in Human Services

15 Best Online Bach­e­lor’s in Human Services

10 Fastest Online Bach­e­lor’s in Human Services