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Affordable Online Schools for a Master’s in Clinical Psychology With a Good Reputation

Key Takeaways:

  • Reputation: The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) determines the accreditation of each program.
  • Affordability: Consider tuition costs and available financial aid options such as scholarships and loans.
  • Quality: Research faculty credentials, curriculum, and student outcomes for program excellence.
  • Flexibility: Choose programs offering online formats that work for your schedule and learning preferences.

By looking for an affordable master’s, clinical psychology students can take the first step toward achieving their career goals. With a master’s in clinical psych, you can pursue a career as a rehabilitation counselor, academic advisor, parole officer, clinical psychologist, or human resources manager. With clinical psychologists reportedly making an average of $200,763 per year, finding the right master’s in psychology online programs could be an extremely lucrative decision. 


How to Find an Affordable Master’s in Clinical Psychology 

The typical master’s in clinical psych program involves finishing 30 to 48 credit hours of coursework. This means that you will spend one to three years taking full-time courses to complete your degree. When considering the cost of school, you should always base it on the total tuition rate for the program. If the school doesn’t list this amount, multiply the cost per credit hour by the minimum number of credit hours needed. 

Other than searching online for an affordable master’s, clinical psychology students can also talk to the counseling center at their current college. School counselors can offer advice on which programs are the cheapest and which schools have the best financial aid programs. Often, expensive schools will have financial aid and scholarship options that make their tuition rates far more reasonable than they initially seem to be. 

Other than looking at the cost of your master’s in clinical psychology, you should also consider its accreditation. The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) determines the accreditation of each program. Many states will require you to get a degree with a CACREP accreditation if you want to become a certified clinical psychologist. 

What Are the Most Affordable Master’s in Clinical Psychology? 

Tuition rates are updated on an annual basis, so it is important to check the affordable master’s clinical psychology rates again before you enroll in your coursework. Currently, the following list of five programs includes some of the most affordable master’s in psychology online programs.  

1. Fort Hays State University 

If you are an in-state resident, you will pay just $5,634 in tuition each year at Fort Hays State University. Out-of-state residents are charged $16,811.70 per year. Meanwhile, the on-campus master’s degree in psychology costs a total of $15,918.56 for residents and $40,843.77 for non-residents. This includes all of the tuition and fees for 61 credits. 

As an affordable master’s in clinical psychology, this degree program allows you to become endorsed in Kansas as a clinical psychologist. Many other states accept this degree for their endorsements, so it is important to check with your state to see if you can use it for your local counselor certification. 

2. California Coast University 

Located in Santa Ana, California, California Coast University began as a distance education program before the internet was even used for education. When the college first opened up, students mailed in their homework assignments and tests. Today, this historic program remains one of the cheapest places to go to school.

If you enroll in a master’s in clinical psych at California Coast University, you will be charged $250 per unit. The entire degree takes just 39 units to complete, so your master’s degree should cost just $9,750. This school also offers discounts if you pay in full, so you may be able to reduce the overall cost. 

3. Union College 

When you pursue this master’s in clinical psychology at Union College, you can expect to pay $370 per credit hour. Since the program involves 33 credit hours of coursework, your entire degree will cost about $12,210. Like many of the master’s in psychology online programs, you can typically decrease the cost of your education at Union College through financial aid and scholarships.   

As a part of this degree, you will take classes in advanced psychopathology, community psychology, and statistics for mental health professionals. This program is accredited by CACREP. To get accepted, you must complete the college’s application, send in all of your official transcripts from your previous schools, and sign a curriculum contract. 

4. Adams State University 

Based in Alamosa, Colorado, Adams State University is one of the most affordable master’s in clinical psychology programs available. Online students pay $444 per tuition hour. Since this master’s degree in clinical mental health takes 60 credit hours to complete, you can expect your entire degree to cost $26,640.  

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This degree program takes fall cohorts five semesters to complete. Spring cohorts will spend seven semesters in this program. While fall cohorts will generally take 12 credit hours per semester, spring cohorts only have to take 9 credit hours each semester. 

5. Southern Illinois University 

Another one of the top master’s in psychology online programs is at Southern Illinois University. This school has a clinical psychology concentration that is designed for people who want to be clinical psychologists or healthcare providers. This master’s in clinical psych has been accredited by the American Psychological Association since 1961. 

As a resident of the state of Illinois, you can expect to pay $11,268 in tuition per year. Meanwhile, out-of-state residents are typically charged $28,170 in tuition. Once you are enrolled in this master’s in clinical psychology program, you can specialize in adult or child clinical psychology. Both programs offer advanced clinical field placements, graduated clinical training, research training, multicultural training, and a supportive climate.     

How to Fund a Master’s in Clinical Psych 

Deciding to get an affordable master’s in clinical psychology is the first step. Afterward, you need to figure out how you will fund your education. While student loans are always an option, you generally do not want to leave college with tens of thousands of dollars in debt. In fact, the average master’s degree holder has $83,651 in student loans. 

Fortunately, there are many alternative ways to fund your education. Private colleges tend to charge more than public institutions, so you can start by narrowing down your list of colleges to non-profit universities and public colleges. Many master’s in psychology online programs offer better deals than traditional classrooms, so an online school may be your best bet. 

At the very least, an online college allows you to save money by living at home. You can arrange your school sessions around your work day, so you won’t have to quit your job or take time off of work. As a result, your overall living expenses will likely be less if you go to an online school. 

Apply for Financial Aid 

One of the biggest ways to reduce your tuition costs is by turning in a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). After your FAFSA has been processed by the government, you’ll get a Student Aid Report (SAR) that will tell you if you qualify for funding. Any college you apply for will be able to see your FAFSA results. Then, they can use your results to determine whether you will be given financial aid. 

After you apply for a master’s in clinical psychology, your school will give you an aid package. This package includes every type of scholarship, grant, and loan you qualify for. You want to accept every grant and scholarship you receive because they don’t have to be repaid. Ideally, you will receive enough in scholarships and grants that you don’t have to get any loans. 

Find Scholarships

In most cases, the financial aid package won’t cover the entire cost of tuition. Because of this, it is important to be proactive as you prepare for college. Take time to apply for as many scholarships as you can find. You can talk to your college’s financial aid office about some of their institutional scholarships. Additionally, you can ask charitable groups in your community about the scholarships they offer.    

Calculate Your Loan Costs 

If you do need to get student loans, it is important to calculate your loan costs beforehand. Private student loans generally have higher interest rates than federal student loans, so you should start by accepting any federal loans that are in your loan package before you turn to private loans. In addition, you should carefully evaluate the interest rates and terms. For instance, fixed interest rates might seem higher at first, but you can count on them to remain the same. With a variable interest rate, the interest rate can change whenever the market changes.

How Do I Know if a School Has a Good Reputation for a Master’s in Clinical Psychology?

  • Look for programs accredited by recognized bodies like the American Psychological Association (APA).
  • Research faculty members’ qualifications, expertise, and research contributions in the field.
  • Review graduation rates, licensure exam pass rates, and alumni success stories to gauge program effectiveness.
  • Reach out to current and former students to inquire about their experiences and satisfaction with the program.
  • Research curriculum and student outcomes for program excellence
  • Check if employers and professionals in the field value graduates from the program.

What Can You Do With a Master’s in Clinical Psych? 

After completing your master’s degree, there are a few career options you can choose. With your master’s in clinical psych, you may be able to work as a marriage and family therapist. You could get a job as a substance abuse counselor, a mental health technician, or a researcher. Sometimes, human resources managers have a master’s in clinical psychology.    

Learn About the Most Affordable Master’s Clinical Psychology Programs 

Through the best master’s in psychology online programs, you can get a headstart on your career goals. Because many states charge in-state residents significantly less for school, you should start by looking for a master’s in clinical psych degree in your area. If your state doesn’t have a master’s in clinical psychology, you can look for out-of-state programs as well. 

Other than trying to find an affordable master’s, clinical psychology students can also search for schools that have good financial aid programs. You may be able to lower the total cost of your schooling through a mixture of scholarships, grants, and aid. With the right blend of support, you can pursue your career goals and become a clinical psychologist.