By SWDG Staff
For this ranking, we used information from College Navigator to help us determine the most affordable, selective schools for a BSW (Bachelor of Social Work). We used College Navigator’s database of thousands of U.S. colleges to filter the selection to include only the colleges that offer bachelor’s degrees in social work. Furthermore, because we wanted to focus on selective schools only, we filtered this selection down to include only those that admit 60% of their applicants or fewer. We also consulted the directory on the Council on Social Work Education’s website to ensure that all of the schools we considered have full accreditation for their programs. From this list of more than 150 schools, we determined the 50 with the lowest overall net prices. We chose to sort by net price instead of tuition rate because the former option offers a more comprehensive image of what you can expect to pay to attend the school. That is:
“Average net price is generated by subtracting the average amount of federal, state/local government, or institutional grant or scholarship aid from the total cost of attendance. Total cost of attendance is the sum of published tuition and required fees (lower of in-district or in-state), books and supplies, and the weighted average for room and board and other expenses.”
The 50 schools with the lowest net prices are listed below. We also included descriptions of each university’s social work program so you can see their unique features, the classes they offer, and the resources available to students – and hopefully, you’ll be one step closer to choosing the right school for you!
50. Morgan State University
Morgan State University’s bachelor’s degree in social work places a concentrated emphasis on urban communities and their well-being. Students learn about poverty, economic and social injustice, and human rights, while simultaneously considering many different issues from a global perspective. Course offerings include Black Families, Social Welfare as Social Policy, and Substance Abuse and Chemical Dependency. The curriculum also supplies plenty of opportunities for field instruction, in which students work in actual professional settings and receive on-the-job supervision. Lastly, a Senior Seminar gives advanced students an open forum in which to analyze individual cases and discuss treatment options.
Net Price: $13,311/yr
49. Frostburg State University
Students at Frostburg State enjoy all of the traditional social work course options, as well as a few atypical options. For example, you could study The Sociology of African Americans, Statistics for Social Science, Sociology of Later Life, and Child Welfare, among other topics. The curriculum also incorporates plenty of flexibility for curious students to explore their own paths, from internships to research opportunities. In addition, a “reading course” option lets students explore whatever topic they want, as long as they complete a formal report by the end of the semester. What’s more, a specialized class in “Individual Problems in Social Work” lets advanced learners pursue a self-designed research project under the guidance of a faculty member.
Net Price: $12,938/yr
48. University of Georgia
As far as selective social work degrees go, the University of Georgia has one of the best programs around. The department offers BSW, MSW, and Ph.D programs, as well as a distinctive M.A. in Nonprofit Organizations. The school also hosts a few dual-degree options, including an MSW-JD, an MSW-MPH, and an MSW-MDiv (Master of Divinity). But undergraduate students will benefit from plenty of unique resources, as well. Service learning opportunities – such as the Athens Day Reporting Center and the Burn Camp – regularly take students off campus and overseas to test their skills. Some social work students even study abroad in Ghana! The BSW also mandates two, semester-long field experiences so that students receive as much hands-on training as possible before they graduate.
Net Price: $12,862/yr
47. Delaware State University
Evidence, ethics, and values form the basis of this affordable social work degree at Delaware State University. The rigorous curriculum helps students grow into professional leaders who will behave responsibly and ethically in their careers. From Human Behavior and Elementary Statistics to Welfare Policies and Group Dynamics, this school’s coursework is also comprehensive and job-oriented. A combination of research projects, thought-provoking seminars, and field experiences ensure that aspiring social workers at DSU continuously challenge themselves to improve. The program also offers more targeted classes in topics such as sexuality, addiction, aging, and child services, which can help near-graduates determine an area of specialty for their professional work.
Net Price: $12,713/yr
46. Albany State University
A degree in social work from Albany State University in Georgia gets students out of the classroom and actively making a difference in their city and in their state. For example, ASU students participate annually in “Stand Downs,” events where students connect homeless veterans with basic needs including shelter, health screenings, and food. Students can also participate in different social work conferences or travel to Atlanta to make their voices heard at the state capitol on Social Work Lobby Day. If you have an itch to get out and travel, why not take a Health Care Policies in Developing Countries course in Trinidad and Tobago?
Net Price: $12,673/yr
45. Brescia University
Social Work Program
Brescia University is one of the rare schools that offer social work students the option to complete their BSW online. And although the program is offered online, we’re still talking about a selective social work degree. This program is a particularly good option for transfer students, who may be able to finish the program in as little as two years. Classes at Brescia University include a wide range of electives including Women at Risk; Death and Dying; Child Abuse and Neglect; and Social Work in Criminal Justice. When the time comes to go out into the field for a practicum, students have more than 20 agencies in the Owensboro, Kentucky region from which to choose.
Net Price: $12,399/yr
44. North Carolina State University Raleigh
The Social Work department at North Carolina State University-Raleigh puts students in close contact with faculty—not only in the classroom, but also through research and service opportunities. These unique opportunities give students a chance to bulk up their resume with some of the finest social work professionals in the country while reflecting on future career and education plans. During their final year of the program, students will complete 480 hours in the field. With over one million people in the metro Raleigh area, students should find plenty of opportunity for a rewarding field placement.
Net Price: $12,129/yr
43. Florida International University
Bachelor of Science in Social Work
Faculty at Florida International University practice what they preach. Professors in FIU’s Social Work department are actively involved in the surrounding region through a variety of different projects, including the Latino HIV Behavioral Science Center, South East Florida Center on Aging, Community Based Intervention Research Group, and more. And faculty isn’t just active putting boots on the ground in their community. Academic Analytics ranked FIU’s faculty fourth in the US for scholarly productivity. In addition to the BSW, students can also choose from a minor in social welfare and obtain a Certificate in Child Welfare Practice.
Net Price: $12,122/yr
42. University of North Carolina Wilmington
Bachelor of Social Work
UNC-Wilmington allows students to attend class either on their primary Wilmington campus, or through the Onslow Extension Program in Jacksonville, NC. The department also offers some courses—though not all—online. The department is home to 16 full-time and eight part-time faculty members whose interests in the field include: working with survivors of sexual trauma; gender issues in the military; grief counseling; end-of-life issues; and more. In addition to their research and time spent in the classroom, the faculty at UNC-Wilmington also does work with local agencies in advisory and consultative roles.
Net Price: $12,089/yr
41. University of Arkansas
Bachelor’s in Social Work
The University of Arkansas’s very affordable social work degree is among the oldest in the U.S., dating back over 70 years to 1940. UA students have numerous ways to get plugged in with interesting agencies and organizations, not only through field placements but also by joining student organizations such as the Social Work Action Group (SWAG). Circle of Support is another group on campus that meets regularly to support African American students through mentorship. As a student at UA, you can expect classes taught by faculty with experience working in domestic violence shelters in Kansas City; rape crisis centers; and residential treatment at Ozark Guidance, a mental health provider.
Net Price: $12,057/yr
40. Western Carolina University
Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) Degree
Western Carolina University offers students a selective social work degree at a reasonable price, but you will have to work for it if you’re serious about social work. The program requires that you maintain an overall 2.8 GPA. Hard work can certainly pay off, though. The Child Welfare Education Collaborative (CWEC) aims to cultivate talented, devoted workers in North Carolina dedicated to child welfare by awarding $4,000 per semester to qualifying students. On top of that, recipients enjoy job placement assistance, training, and networking opportunities. The catch? Once you graduate, you’ll need to find work with a child welfare agency in state.
Net Price: $11,978/yr
39. University of West Florida
BSW Social Work
Get one of the top social work degrees to be found anywhere in a student-centric, welcoming atmosphere at the University of West Florida. The social work program at the University of West Florida offers concentrations in aging studies, child welfare, social welfare, and substance abuse. Placements are available with the Memory Disorder Clinic West Florida Hospital, several juvenile corrections facilities, Loaves & Fishes homeless shelter, and a multitude of health facilities. And with the school based in historic Pensacola, what better way to unwind than on the nearby gulf beach!
Net Price: $11,873/yr
38. University of Texas at Arlington
You know that saying about everything being bigger in Texas? In the instance of the Social Work department at the University of Texas at Arlington, it holds true. If you’re interested in pursuing an accredited social work degree from UTA, you’ll be able to take advantage of the wealth of knowledge in a department that’s over 40 strong. In addition to the BSW, a 12-credit Diversity Certificate Program (DCP) is available to recognize students’ commitment to a broad understanding of various systems of systemic inequality. In addition to a Phi Alpha chapter, several other student organizations exist at UTA, including the Gerontology Organization and Students for Global Change. The latter of the two takes a broad view of the discipline to consider its practice and its importance across the globe, and it even showcases relevant study abroad programs.
Net Price: $11,779/yr
37. Kentucky State University
Bachelor of Social Work
In conjunction with the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, the Public Child Welfare Certification Program seeks to support children and families across the state by elevating the role of child welfare workers. If you’re interested in making a career as a child welfare worker, your cheap social work degree just got cheaper. For students at Kentucky State University, this means the potential for tuition to be paid in full for up to four semesters and, on top of that, a $1,300 stipend for each of those semesters. Students at KSU can also enjoy access to the Phi Alpha honor society and the National Association of Social Work. A minor in gerontology is also available.
Net Price: $11,635/yr
36. Tarleton State University
Social Work BSW
Tarleton, part of the Texas A&M system, has designed its social work major specifically with the military, Hispanic, and the rural demographics of north and central Texas in mind. You will find that the Tarleton campus is engaged and active. Annual events include observation of World AIDS Day, Take Back the Night, a lobby day at the capitol in Austin, and the annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Students in the program take what they have learned out into the field, building on their classroom knowledge by completing 450 hours of field placement on their way to obtaining one of the top social work degrees in the region—and the country.
Net Price: $11,612/yr
35. University of South Florida
Bachelor of Social Work
Studying at the University of South Florida will give you access to almost 300 agencies throughout a 10-county region surrounding Tampa Bay when the time comes for your field placement. Included in that number: Three of the nation’s top hospital systems, one of America’s biggest hospice organizations, and two VA locations. BSW students complete the placement in a semester, averaging 32 hours on location every week of their third semester. USF is a sizable program with over 30 instructors and close to 4,000 graduates who know the advantage of this cheap social work degree; many of them work in social work-related fields from coast-to-coast.
Net Price: $11,335/yr
34. Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
The Social Work program at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University has a storied past dating back over half a century to the 1950s. Dr. Victoria Efferson, FAMU’s very first social work preceptor, is still revered and celebrated for the proud legacy she spent decades building. It is not only expected that students will learn from professors in the classroom, but also that professors will provide a certain level of mentorship. This high-level contact gives students means to critically evaluate their commitment to the field as well as professional and academic goals. As far as selective social work degree programs go, this is a strong contender on any list.
Net Price: $11,335/yr
33. Rutgers University Camden
Bachelor of Arts in Social Work
Rutgers is another program that dates back to the mid-20th century. In those 60+ years, Rutgers has grown significantly and today the school graduates more than 1,600 social workers annually between the two campuses at Camden and New Brunswick/Piscataway. The school does more than award plenty of affordable social work degrees. In terms of research, Rutgers’ faculty is ranked third in the nation for its research productivity. And although the sheer number of students in the school’s social work program may seem daunting, the program understands that the individual needs of the students may vary and thus offers weekend and evening class options.
Net Price: $11,294/yr
32. Bowie State University
Nestled between Baltimore and the nation’s capital, Bowie State is a dream-come-true for students looking for a truly special field placement experience. On campus, expect to learn from experts in such areas as mental health, issues facing homeless populations, nursing homes, and community associations. And while the students must choose between a Spanish or American Sign Language track, don’t fret; only two semesters are required. Not only can you join the school’s Social Work Club and the Phi Alpha honor society, El Club de la Familia Espanola provides another chance for students to practice their Spanish with particular emphasis on situations that will be relevant in a social work-related field.
Net Price: $11,009/yr
31. Minot State University
Low student-to-faculty ratios in the classroom help to create an intimate, close-knit atmosphere at Minot State University. In this sort of atmosphere, you are sure to become close with your peers. As one student says, “I don’t just call them classmates; I call them friends.” The Student Social Work Organization has built a strong connection between the campus and the surrounding community by supporting various cultural and social activities. Even though the surrounding community is far from a sprawling metropolis (the population of Minot is about 40,000), a number of one-of-a-kind placement opportunities exist: military outreach, Minot Area Homeless Coalition, and domestic violence shelters—among others. Some highlights among the classes offered include Contemporary Issues with Native American Families and Rural Social Work Practice.
Net Price: $10,928/yr
30. University of North Texas
Bachelor of Social Work
It’s generally true that social work is a calling that is profoundly personal. The University of North Texas recognizes this. One student program, Persevere UNTiL Success Happens (PUSH), a support group for UNT students who have experienced the foster care system as minors, is just one shining example. PUSH not only functions as a support network, but the students involved also seek to inform the general public about issues surrounding neglect and abuse and to provide youth currently in the system with some much needed encouragement. In further acknowledgement of the personal struggles student have overcome in their own lives, UNT recognizes one student every spring with the Adam Main Courage in Perseverance Award.
Net Price: $10,773/yr
29. Brigham Young University Hawaii
Few schools with such a small student body can claim to have the international diversity of Brigham Young University Hawaii; the school’s 2,500 students hail from over 70 countries. Consequent of its affiliation with the Church of Latter Day Saints, the school’s social work program is couched within the framework of the church’s worldwide mission. As such, social work students learn with an eye to the larger world around them including social work in Asia and the Pacific. The Social Work Student Association strives to address students’ spiritual, psychological, and social needs and also provides social work students with a voice in department meetings. Also worth mentioning: the church offers several scholarships specifically with BU students in mind.
Net Price: $10,660/yr
28. Alabama State University
Bachelor of Social Work
Alabama State University is an HBCU in Montgomery, a mid-size city of around 200,000 and also the state capital. Everyone knows the story of the Montgomery Bus Boycotts, but did you know that ASU played an integral role in the boycotts? Back in 1955, faculty member JoAnn Robinson and her students used university facilities to make copies of boycott flyers to spread the word throughout the city. Recently, Duncan Sandys, the great-grandson of Winston Churchill, made a visit on campus where he shared his experiences marking 60 years since the pivotal events in Montgomery. Are you ready to find your place in this long tradition of activism? Take advantage of this cheap social work degree and follow in the footsteps of greatness.
Net Price: $10,607/yr
27. Rutgers University Newark
Not every school has the same caliber of faculty as Rutgers in Newark. Professors hail from schools such as the University of Chicago, Columbia, Boston College, and New York University. If you opt to pursue an accredited social work degree at Rutgers, you will find that classes have a distinct focus on social work and social activism in an urban environment. Rutgers University Newark permits students to take classes in accordance with what’s convenient for them—a limited number are even available on Saturdays. Every year, RU brings in the best organizations the region has to offer in its Annual Agency Fair. Not a bad place to start looking as you plan for field placements!
Net Price: $10,601/yr
26. University of Illinois at Springfield
Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)
Perhaps best known for its association with the city’s favorite son, Abraham Lincoln, you may also want to remember the city of Springfield for another reason: The selective social work degree offered at the University of Illinois at Springfield. Program graduates remark that UIS did an excellent job in prepping them for continued studies in graduate programs and the school is also notable for a high portion of its graduates who find employment in social work. UIS is also home to a world-class faculty whose field interests include compassion fatigue and burnout in human services professionals; behavioral disorders in public school students; and factors related to the academic success of African-American students in university settings.
Net Price: $10,516/yr
25. Concord University
Social Work (BSW)
Concord University is a school built around the needs and interests of the Appalachians. Social work is no exception. Concord University is located in West Virginia’s rural heart and training students to work with rural populations is at the core of its social work major. Concord’s social work program has been accredited since 1974, and its student-run Social Work Organization, bringing students together for social and service outings, followed right behind in 1975. Despite its rural setting, Concord has working relationships with more than 50 agencies in the region where students can complete their field placements.
Net Price: $10,275/yr
24. San Diego State University
Even among top social work degrees, few programs offer study abroad opportunities. San Diego State University’s study abroad is an exciting opportunity for students to spend a semester in Thailand, studying social work at Thammasat University in Bangkok. Back home, SDSU has a multitude of elective seminars available including classes on child welfare, aging, and family studies. Not only does SDSU have a top-notch BSW program, but students may also opt to major or minor in Gerontology. And when you’re not in the classroom, there’s a student group for just about everyone, including groups to promote the interests of Asian Pacific Islander social work students, Latino students, LGBT students, and African American students as well as a Social Action Committee, Gerontology Student Association, and the College of Health and Human Services Student Council.
Net Price: $9,856/yr
23. Mississippi Valley State University
When the program got its start back in 1972, Mississippi Valley State University’s Social Work major was first known as the Family and Community Service program. Today, students and faculty members collaborate to organize a yearly social work conference at MVSU, professional training workshops, and a social work lobby day at the state capitol. Other student organizations exist, such as the Honors Program, which brings speakers to campus for the annual “Who’s Who Among American Colleges and Universities.” School facilities include a study room, two computer labs, and a reading room in the university library specifically for social work students.
Net Price: $9,807/yr
22. University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Bachelor of Social Work
The Social Work program at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock is in a unique position, training students to work with clients in a by-and-large poor, rural state in the midst of a prosperous, growing city. Beyond offering an affordable social work degree, UA caters to student’s schedules by providing night classes and also some first-year social work classes online. Students heading into the second year of the program and preparing for their field placements can apply for a $5,000 grant, a total payable on a monthly basis over their final year. The department’s Diversity Lunch and Learns cover topics from human trafficking to race, gender and harassment in the workplace. A Gerontology Certificate is also available.
Net Price: $9,793/yr
21. Coppin State University
Bachelor of Science in Social Work
A major selling point for Coppin State University is the Maxie Collier Scholars Program, an initiative aimed at recruiting more African-American professionals to careers in public mental health in the greater Baltimore area. In addition to recruiting students to pursue this highly affordable social work degree, this also includes related fields such as psychology and nursing. Those selected to participate in the program receive internships, mentorship in preparation for graduate school, and much more. Everyone at CSU, regardless of their participation in the program, can benefit from flexible field placement scheduling—including efforts to honor requests for evenings a weekends. The 480-hour placement is stretched out over two semesters, averaging 16 hours a week in the field.
Net Price: $9,667/yr
20. North Carolina Central University
The social work program at North Carolina Central University is a popular one. Social work courses have been taught for more than half of the school’s 100-year history, dating back to the 1950s. The school has been a leader in many important areas, including its place in history as the second HBCU in the nation to establish an organization for the support of LGBT students. Today NCCU is plowing forward with compelling research, including a recent grant awarded to the school’s Juvenile Justice Institute to study methods of reducing the rates of substance abuse and HIV transmission in the 18-to-24 demographic. NCCU encourages student research, too, by reserving funding for assistantships.
Net Price: $9,634/yr
19. University of Washington Seattle
BASW Program in Social Welfare
The University of Washington in Seattle’s selective social work degree is in a class of its own. With art galleries (that’s right, more than one), nearly 30 student organizations, and over 100 faculty and lecturers, you could say that UW raises the bar for programs across the country. Among the 100 faculty and lecturers, more than 40 are full-time teaching/research faculty, whose research frequently garners recognition for its contribution to the field. Among its more than two dozen student organizations, some stand-outs include gerontology, size-ism advocacy, social justice, immigration, and meditation. With a yearly scholarship breakfast held to support students, you’re sure to feel the love; in the last six years, more than $750,000 has been raised to support social work students.
Net Price: $9,559/yr
18. Northern Kentucky University
Social Work (BSW)
Just south of the Ohio border, on the doorstep of Cincinnati with its vibrant downtown, plenty of opportunities exist for you to get your hands dirty—in the best possible way—at Northern Kentucky University. NKU’s campus is a vibrant place, and much of that is thanks to the school’s Social Work program. The social work faculty, for example, was instrumental in founding FUEL NKU, a campus food pantry to address needs on campus. Today, students have taken over the reins at FUEL NKU and continue to build on this legacy. Meanwhile, the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) recently recognized three current faculty members with their Innovative Teaching Award, making a BSW one of the top social work degrees in America.
Net Price: $9,044/yr
17. Southeastern Louisiana University
Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work
Consider this enviable statistic: More than 50 percent of graduates from Southeastern Louisiana University go on to pursue a graduate degree after finishing SLU’s graduate degree program. In the debate between spreading out placements over a full two semesters or condensing it into a single, final semester, SLU has opted for the latter. Students complete a minimum of 430 hours in the field in their last semester before graduation. For non-traditional students (age 25 and up), consider the Susan McQuay Spiller scholarship that SLU offers—with one catch. Applicants must be engaged in the school’s service learning program.
Net Price: $8,886/yr
16. Prairie View A&M University
Prairie View A&M University’s social work faculty has been published in a wide array of publications. These include the Journal of Intergroup Relations, Journal of Social Work in Disability & Rehabilitation, and Journal of Applied Counseling. Given the range of professional experience that instructors bring to the classroom —human resource management; policy analysis, evaluation, and strategic planning; comprehensive grant-writing services, and more — you are sure to gain invaluable insight in the classroom. Outside the classroom, you have the option to join groups such as the Social Work Action Club, the Phi Alpha honor society, and the National Association of Black Social Workers.
Net Price: $8,576/yr
15. Rust College
Social Work Program
No, Rust College isn’t an ironically named college in the Midwest. In fact, it’s a small HBCU affiliated with the United Methodist Church in northern Mississippi, just a half hour outside Memphis. A couple unique features define this school. First, the student body is a cozy 1,000. Second, the school offers what it calls a Social Work Weekend Program for students who have already a bachelor’s or associate’s degree in another field and wish to obtain a cheap social work degree. And, third, Rust College plays host to an annual Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Seminar. This seminar, which gathers together professors from all over the United States, dates back more than 20 years.
Net Price: $8,575/yr
14. Southern University at New Orleans
SUNO (the Southern University at New Orleans) backs up against the shores of Lake Pontchartrain on the north side of New Orleans. This one-of-a-kind, quintessentially American setting is a powerful backdrop where students can take classes such as Social Legislation, Policy and Process; Institutional Racism in the U.S.; Social Services for the Handicapped; Mobilizing Against AIDS; and more. A city like New Orleans won’t let you forget that what you learn in the classroom is more than theory. And a school like SUNO will give you the chance to put theory into practice through partnerships such as the Small Business Development & Management Institute, a cross-disciplinary initiative with the school’s Education, Business, and Natural Sciences.
Net Price: $8,528/yr
13. Winston Salem State University
Winston Salem State University is one of the latest universities in the country to add an accredited social work degree to its school. Also new to WSSU: student centers. These new student centers around campus work to drive community and provide social outlets. The centers include a commuter’s lounge, food court, game room, meditation room, and other multi-purpose rooms. Faculty in WSSU’s social work department offer students extensive experience in areas that include human behavior and social environment; mental health; community-based participatory research; and violence prevention. WSSU is a growing research university and today stands more than 6,000 students strong.
Net Price: $8,340/yr
12. California State University Long Beach
Bachelor of Arts in Social Work
At over 35,000 students strong, California State University Long Beach is expansive. Yet, somehow, the school president still finds a way to meet with social work student to hear the results from the annual lobby day in Sacramento. In the classroom, students have a substantial number of course offerings from which to choose: Practice with Death and Loss; Play Therapy with Children and Adolescents; Spirituality in Practice; and more. The school takes its internal campus culture very seriously. As one example, the President’s Commission on the Status of Women works to address concerns of female students, staff, administrators, and faculty at CSULB. Should you be interested in an MSW, Long Beach lets you use your same field placement from June until May of the following year.
Net Price: $8,169/yr
11. Indiana University East
Bachelor of Social Work
Remarkably, social work education at Indiana University East dates back more than 100 years—something practically unheard of even among top social work degrees. Today’s faculty is pushing forward with research in rural social work, chemical dependence recovery, improving social services in rural communities, and the overlap of social work and law. Want to get more out of your education? With the help of additional specified courses, students can pursue a Certificate in Gerontology or Alcohol and Drug Abuse. Certain graduates who qualify may be eligible for advanced standing in the IUE MSW program.
Net Price: $7,948/yr
10. West Virginia State University
Studying at West Virginia State University means that students have one foot in the city—nearby Charleston—and one foot in the country. That being said, the primary focus of WVSU’s social work program is on the latter—that is, the state’s largely rural population. As a student, you can reap the benefits of participating in the Alpha Delta Mu National Social Work Honor Society and the school’s Social Work Student Organization. Potential practicum sites include St. Jude’s Hospice; legislative and political placements; YMCA Sojourner’s; and local domestic violence shelters.
Net Price: $7,910/yr
9. University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
Social Work Program
If you are at all interested in a future career in child welfare, add the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff to your list. Here’s why: First of all, you may qualify for Child Welfare Stipends. The Arkansas Academic Partnership offers qualifying students who spend at least 400 hours placed with the Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Children and Family Services a stipend. Secondly, the social work program at UA-Pine Bluff puts pertinent research materials right at your fingertips, thanks to the child welfare resource library. And regardless of your area of focus, everyone can enjoy the benefits of scholarship opportunities—including out-of-state students.
Net Price: $7,298/yr
8. Northwestern Oklahoma State University
Rather than requiring students in their program to complete placements in the typical one- or two-semester timeframe typical of most accredited social work degrees, Northwestern Oklahoma State University spreads out the experience over three semesters. And, with three campuses, NOSU spreads classes out over its three different sites—Alva, Woodward, and Enid—thanks to the school’s ITV video link. Likewise, students who participate in Social Workers Association of Tomorrow (SWAT), can maintain contact with students at the other two campus locations via video link. Cost-cutting students may be happy to hear that a reported 57% of students graduate debt-free, and that U.S. News & World Report claims that Northwestern is the most affordable college campus in the United States.
Net Price: $6,989/yr
7. California State University San Bernardino
Bachelor of Arts in Social Work
You’ll have more to enjoy at California State University San Bernardino than just the spectacular views from campus. As a student in this selective social work degree program, you will participate in a community that gives back more than 80,000 hours of community service on an annual basis. Members of the social work faculty are highly qualified and teach courses in domains such as Alcohol, Drugs, and the Criminal Justice System; Parenting and Family Relations; Chicano Social Stratification; Sociology of Family Violence; and more. Students are expected to take an active role in and out of the classroom by participating in lobby day, finding a field placement with one of the more than 100 local agencies surrounding CSUSB, and organizing an annual community health fair.
Net Price: $6,571/yr
6. California State University Fresno
Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social Work Education
California State University Fresno is home to one of the top social work degrees in the country. The faculty is comprised of a dynamic group of 11 tenured or tenure-track faculty members plus another 40 part- or full-time lecturers. By providing a large administrative staff, the university provides a supportive and welcoming atmosphere for everyone in the social work program. While the university offers a number of different scholarships to students regardless of discipline, the Community Service Scholarship Program may be of particular interest to perspective social work students. Those who spend 150 hours volunteering with a non-profit can qualify for $1,500 in scholarships and – what makes it really unique – three units of credit towards your degree.
Net Price: $6,228/yr
5. Fayetteville State University
Bachelor of Social Work Program
Fayetteville State University is a mere stone’s throw from the largest military installation in the country—Fort Bragg. As such, many students who graduate from FSU with an accredited social work degree go on to careers in military-related fields, such as at VA medical centers, the US Army Wounded Warrior Program, and the Department of Defense. Students may choose to pursue one of two certificate programs, the first in substance abuse and the other (you guessed it) in military behavior health. The latter seeks to equip students with the skill set to address the needs of veterans, active duty military personnel, and their families.
Net Price: $5,914/yr
4. CUNY York College
Social Work (B.S.)
What more could a social work student ask for in an accredited program? Not only will you be getting a cheap social work degree, at CUNY York College, you’ll be in the middle of New York City, surrounded by opportunities to discover your passion out in the field. While you’re on campus, you’ll learn from the best. The department chair, in fact, is considered one of the “leading social work researchers” in the United States. Human diversity electives prepare students to experience the world at their door with classes on the Caribbean, black psychology, social stratification, and ethnicity. For a chance to make friends and engage with your discipline outside the classroom, join the Social Work Club or the National Association of Social Workers’ NYC chapter.
Net Price: $5,855/yr
3. CUNY Lehman College
Bachelor of Arts Degree with a Major in Social Work
CUNY Lehman College, located in the Bronx, has a long list of partners throughout the NYC region where you can spend your two-semester practicum. To name only a few, they include Metropolitan Jewish Geriatric Center, Hispanic AIDS Forum, Harlem Hospital, and Fordham High School for the Arts. Convenient scheduling means you spend two days a week with any one of these organizations. Faculty research includes work on the psychology of stereotyping, reintegrating veterans into society, incarcerated fathers, children in war, and much more. Tuition for out-of-state students remains competitive compared with many other schools included on this list, making this an affordable social work degree for everyone.
Net Price: $4,790/yr
2. Georgia Regents University
Georgia Regents University is a mid-size public research school in Augusta, Georgia. As part of that community of more than 8,000, GRU’s social work students are active locally and around the state. To make the most of your undergrad experience, you can join the school’s chapter of Phi Alpha honors society, the Social Work Club, and even study abroad. The department also offers a small handful of classes over the summer. Learning from faculty with experience in social agencies; practice/intervention skills; and the sociology of death, grief and caring means that it’s not just the price tag you should be looking at, but also the school’s world-class faculty.
Net Price: $2,323/yr
1. Elizabeth City State University
Bachelor of Social Work (B.S.W.)
Elizabeth City State University, on the mouth of the Pasquotank River, has as much of a tourist-town feel as it does a college-town vibe. In addition to a BSW, the school’s Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences also offers minors in corrections, criminal justice, juvenile justice, and a number of other areas. For military students, you will be pleased to hear of the school’s commitment to its Veteran Resource Center, a “one-stop shop” for all your needs. And with all the money you’ll be saving with the most affordable social work degree in the country, you’ll be well prepared to start a career in multiple helping professions, including military service.
Net Price: $1,993/yr
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