Costs vary greatly by school and degree level, so there's no solid answer to this question. The Education Data Initiative has collected expense data for all degree levels, though these numbers don't apply to social work degrees in particular.
Although cost is a crucial factor in most students' calculations, it's also worth considering your long-term return on investment. Each degree level you earn tends to raise your earning potential and lower your chances of unemployment. This means that the upfront costs in time and money may be worth it over time.
Funding a Social Work Program
One popular cost-saving measure is attending a public college in the state where you reside. You may also be able to receive the in-state tuition rate at a public school in another state if you attend online. In fact, many state schools charge this lower rate to online students regardless of residency.
No matter where or how you choose to study, you should apply for all available financial aid, which can potentially save you thousands of dollars in student debt. The ideal forms of aid are grants, scholarships, and work-study programs, which lower the total cost of a degree without requiring repayment after you graduate. Most students take out loans once they've exhausted all gift aid possibilities, starting with lower interest government loans. Whether you study online or in person, you can typically qualify for the same funds from government, school, or private sources.
The ideal forms of aid are grants, scholarships, and work-study programs, which lower the total cost of a degree without requiring repayment after you graduate.
You can begin the financial aid process by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which helps determine your eligibility for federal funding. Most schools and state governments also require you to complete the FAFSA. You can't qualify for federal funding if you have undocumented immigration status, but your state may have an alternate form to help you apply for its aid programs. Check with the financial aid office at your college to make sure it accepts funds from particular sources.
Beyond government aid, you can pursue a range of private scholarships specific to the social work major, including the options listed below.