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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.

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.

Relat­ed Rankings:

25 Best Bach­e­lor’s in Addic­tion Counseling

15 Best Online Bach­e­lor’s in Addic­tion Counseling

10 Fastest Online Bach­e­lor’s in Addic­tion Counseling