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Working adults and others who are paying their own way to get a degree in addiction and substance abuse counseling have to consider cost. To find an affordable Addiction Counseling degree, you will need to look for smaller colleges or universities or community colleges that have a solid reputation for offering quality courses at cheap prices. There are many colleges and universities that offer scholarships to new students who have the grades and meet their eligibility requirements. Students can also apply for different types of student loans. While it’s better to try and avoid private loans, Stafford loans are somewhat more affordable.

Earning a Bachelor’s degree in Addiction Counseling or Substance Abuse Counseling, allows you to move beyond the boundaries that may have confined you in the past. Take the initiative and chart a course for success. Laying the groundwork for your career is the key to building a career you can be proud of.

Featured Schools

Methodology: Ranking the Most Affordable Addiction Counseling Degree Programs

For the Bachelor’s Degree Center ranking of the most affordable addiction counseling degree programs, editors focused on accredited, trustworthy institutions. Programs are ranked by actual tuition cost, according to current IPEDS data.

1. University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

University of Texas Rio Grande Valley has an affordable addiction counseling degree that offers students a chance to help others. Students learn the impact of addiction on family and community as well as the individual and learn to make a positive impact in other people’s lives. The curriculum includes human services counseling, advocacy, and policymaking courses. Students learn in a progressive environment and take part in research initiatives for addiction counseling,

The University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley has 20,000 students. This above-average school accepts four out of five of those who apply. Among dozens of majors, students can choose biology, criminal justice, psychology, and other popular majors.

What We Like: Nine out of 10 students who study here receive some form of financial aid.

Degree: BS in Addiction Studies

University of Texas Rio Grande Valley BS in Addiction Studies

2. Western New Mexico University

Western New Mexico University has one of the most affordable addiction counseling degree programs. Students can get their baccalaureate of science or arts in chemical dependency counseling. Graduates emerge prepared to work in fields related to prevention, counseling, and administration of programs related to chemical dependency. Some graduates work in private and public institutions as clinical directors, program directors and case managers. The program prepares students for work in adult and adolescent treatment settings.

Western New Mexico accepts all students who apply and has 1,100 undergraduate students. This small university has a number of interesting majors such as social work, welding and business. Approximately 81% of students found jobs within two years of graduation, which is just under the national average.

What We Like: About 86% of students surveyed felt confident that they would find jobs in their field after graduation.

Degree: BS or BA in Chemical Dependency Counseling

Western New Mexico University BS or BA in Chemical Dependency Counseling

3. Northwestern State University of Louisiana

The affordable addiction counseling degree at Northwestern State University of Louisiana confers a bachelor’s degree in addiction studies or psychology that provides students with an understanding of how the human mind works. This is a fast-growing field and employers need candidates with the ability to collect and interpret data and understand human behavior. Both addiction studies and psychology are great majors for those who want to work in communications or human resources.

Northwestern State Louisiana has 6,300 undergraduate students and is located in Natchitoches, LA. This well-regarded school accepts 82% of those who apply, making it a moderately competitive school to get into. Students who accept the invitation to pursue their education here choose majors such as liberal arts and humanities and psychology, among many other available courses.

What We Like: Northwestern State Louisiana is the number 6 top public university in the state

Degree: BS in Addiction Studies

Northwestern State University BS in Addiction Studies

4. Washburn University

Washburn University’s affordable addiction counseling degree results in a BS in addiction counseling for graduates. Courses include nine hours of arts and humanities, nine hours of natural science and mathematics, and nine hours of social sciences. The curriculum emphasizes diversity and aims to prepare students for careers in addiction counseling.

At Washburn University, 92% of students receive some form of student aid, and 89% of students surveyed believe that teachers put a lot of effort into their classes. Four out of five students surveyed thought it was easy to get the classes they need and 75% found their workload manageable.

What We Like: Washburn is the number 6 top-rated university in Kansas.

Degree: BAS in Addiction Counseling

Washburn University BAS in Addiction Counseling

5. Purdue University Global

Purdue University Global has an affordable addiction counseling degree design for students who have a passion for helping others. Those suffering from substance use disorders need a variety of holistic and evidence-based therapy. This program gives students a firm foundation in psychology and other subjects needed to help those recovering from addiction. There are many individuals suffering from the physical and psychological trauma of addiction. Addiction professionals help individuals improve their quality of life and continue their recovery journey.

Founded in 1869, Purdue West Lafayette was founded in 1869 and started out as a land-grant university. The school now has online courses available through Purdue Global. Purdue University Global – Indianapolis has just 4,800 undergraduate students, and this small online university accepts all students who apply. Purdue Global offers an array of majors such as nutrition, criminal justice and other diverse courses.

What We Like: The school’s generous acceptance policy gives students an opportunity to pursue higher education even if they didn’t have a stellar GPA in high school.

Degree: BS in Psychology – Addictions

Purdue University Global BS in Psychology – Addictions

6. University of Maine at Augusta

The University of Maine at Augusta is another affordable addiction counseling degree. Graduates earn a BS in mental health and human services. The school also offers two-year and graduate programs and mental health and human services. Students tailor their curriculum to match their career aspirations which may include working with adolescents, young children, and adults.

UMA is the third-largest university in the state and has 42 locations. The school offers an array of courses to make it easier for students in remote areas to complete their education. UMA is also focused on making it easier for Maine residents who wish to change careers or further their education without uprooting their families or quitting their jobs.

What We Like: The school accepts everyone who applies and 90% of students get some form of financial aid.

Degree: Mental Health and Human Services BS – Substance Abuse

University of Maine at Augusta Mental Health and Human Services BS – Substance Abuse

7. Fort Hays State University

Fort Hays State University has one of the most affordable addiction counseling degree programs. Students can earn a BA or BS depending on their career plans. This degree in sociology addiction counseling helps pave the way for students to become licensed addiction counselors in Kansas. Addiction counselors work with groups and individuals in numerous settings that facilitate recovery and prevention as well as crisis care.

Fort Hays has 5,700 undergraduate students and accepts 91% of those who apply. Those who take advantage of this generous admissions rate may study majors as diverse as operations management and liberal arts.

What We Like: Fort Hays is among the state’s top five public schools.

Degree: BA/BS in Sociology – Addiction Counseling

Fort Hays State University BA/BS in Sociology – Addiction Counseling

8. Eastern Kentucky University

Eastern Kentucky University also has an affordable addiction counseling degree. EKU offers an online degree in psychology that focuses on psychiatric rehabilitation, providing students with the information they need to earn entry-level mental health careers. Graduates often go on to sit for and pass the examinations for the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practitioner (CPRP) certification.

Eastern Kentucky is a mid-sized school with nearly 10,000 undergraduate students. Located in Richmond, Kentucky, it accepts 94% of those who apply. The university offers a plethora of majors in the sciences, liberal arts, and everything in between.

What We Like: Two years after graduation, 90% of graduates interviewed said they found jobs in their field. This compares favorably with and 83% national average.

Degree: BS in Psychology – Addiction Counseling

Eastern Kentucky University BS in Psychology – Addiction Counseling

9. University of Central Arkansas

Students who choose the University of Central Arkansas will find an affordable addiction counseling degree program. Students who want an exciting career with plenty of opportunities often graduate from this program to work at the forefront of one of the nation’s central social problems, addiction. Addiction counseling and prevention can save lives and help prevent future generations from succumbing to substance use disorders. Graduates often go on to work for the state of Arkansas in programs for those recovering from addiction. Students who complete their BS in addiction studies often go on to work in outpatient clinics, hospitals, schools, employee assistance programs and the criminal justice system.

Central Arkansas has 7,600 undergraduate students and is physically located in Little Rock, AR. The school has a generous acceptance policy and nine out of 10 students who apply here received the green light to begin their freshman year. The school offers a plethora of majors including biology, business and psychology.

What We Like: The University of Central Arkansas is among the state’s top three public universities, offering students both an affordable and high-quality education.

Degree: BS in Addiction Studies

University of Central Arkansas BS in Addiction Studies

10. Empire State College (SUNY)

Students who come to Empire State College SUNY discover an affordable addiction counseling degree with several options for those who want to tailor their education toward their career aspirations. The major requires 124 credits and focuses on preparing students for entry-level jobs in the field. On the other hand, many undergraduate students go on to obtain their master’s degrees. This academically robust program helps students gain fundamental knowledge of how addiction works and how it impacts individuals. Students also understand how addiction affects the larger community surrounding the person with substance use disorders.

Empire State College is located in Saratoga Springs, NY. This well-regarded public university has just 3,300 undergraduate students. The school has a very generous acceptance policy. Everyone who applies has an opportunity to study at Empire State. Some of the most popular majors include community organization and advocacy and psychology.

What We Like: Since 89% of students receive some form of financial aid, Empire State College is one of the most affordable schools in the state.

Degree: BS in Addiction Studies

Empire State College SUNY BS in Addiction Studies

How Do I Find an Affordable Bachelor’s in Addiction Counseling?

The best way to pay for college is to look up local scholarships and grant programs that you are qualified for. Even if you are an older student who has just decided to return to school in order to make a career change, you can apply for scholarships from a number of local organizations. The government, as well as organizations that support addiction recovery, also offer several scholarships and grants that you may want to look into.

Don’t forget, you can earn as many scholarships as you want to help defer the cost of your education. The key is to spend the money wisely so that most of your educational expenses are paid for first. One of the biggest challenges for students when it comes to managing money is to make sure all of their smaller expenses are covered. Whenever college funds are received, earmark it for only educational purposes. This ensures you have what you need when you need it and you won’t have to worry about covering the cost of it later.

Can I Work Part-Time or Online as a Substance Abuse Counselor?

With addiction or substance abuse counseling, you can work any hours you choose. Working part-time will allow you to get used to many of the challenges you will face. You can choose to work full-time but make sure you don’t overdo it. In order for you to be able to help others, you first need to take care of yourself. Practicing self-care is not an option. It is a priority that you must always follow. As a substance abuse counselor, you also have the option to work online. Many people may not be able to make it to you or may have to limit their exposure to others due to COVID-19 restrictions.

As an independent substance abuse counselor, you can set your own hours. Offering the option to counsel your patients online is a great way to offer your services to more patients who may not have the ability to travel to you. It also gives them an opportunity to seek treatment while still remaining in their comfort zone. Addiction and substance abuse can lead to paranoia which prevents many patients from seeking the treatment that they so desperately need. Offering online counseling services allows them to get what they need in terms of support while still feeling secure and safe in their own environment.

How Much Can I Make with a Bachelor’s in Addiction Counseling?

The amount of money you can earn with a Bachelor’s in Addiction Counseling will depend on how much you plan on working. If you do choose to work full-time, either online or on staff at a facility, you can start out making around $30,000 per year. The more experience you have and the more time you put into your work will dramatically increase your earning potential. People with several years of experience can expect to make around $63,000 per year on average. The more effort you put into your career, the more you will earn.

A Bachelor’s in Addiction Counseling gives you the means to forge your own path in terms of setting your own hours and building a career that you can count on for the next several years. If you feel more comfortable working as part of a team in a facility, you can explore more career options as you begin to move up the ladder and begin to pursue management positions.

After you receive your degree, the value you place on it will be up to you. You can set the amount of money you want to make on a weekly or monthly basis and then work to achieve that goal. Once you have your goals in place, you can set your own hours and begin to live your best life.

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