Enrolling in the best affordable Bachelor’s in Funeral Service and Mortuary Science degree programs will train kind, sympathetic professionals for guiding grieving families through the burial process. Funeral service workers are shown how to respectfully prepare deceased persons for their final resting place according to diverse cultural and religious traditions. Low-cost funeral service and mortuary science degree options make it easier for students of any financial background to pursue this in-demand career caring for the deceased. In 2019, the National Funeral Directors Association counted 19,136 funeral homes across the United States. Today’s $16.32 billion death care industry employs 141,002 funeral service workers. The Ecology Global Network estimates that more than 55 million people die annually worldwide. This is equivalent to 6,316 humans passing away every hour. Death rates will likely increase as the number of Americans age 65 or older grows 73 percent by 2030. Attending an accredited college for funeral service or mortuary science degree studies will teach you ethical ways to honor lost loved ones.
Therefore, Affordable Schools wanted to highlight cost-effective funeral service and mortuary science degree programs dedicated to helping the bereaved. Our research began with an advanced search on the National Center for Education Statistics’ College Navigator. We checked the boxes to find bachelor’s majors at public and private four-year universities. We browsed specifically in the funeral service direction and mortuary science categories. Our results turned up a small number of 10 institutions to profile. We chose three ranking factors to order our 10 colleges, including student-faculty ratio. This figure shows the average number of peers each course will have per one professor. Small classes provide more hands-on practice, personalized mentoring, and discussion participation. We formed this rubric to grade high-value funeral service and mortuary science degree programs for engagement.
10:1 or Less – 3 Points
11:1 to 15:1 – 2 Points
Greater Than 15:1 – 1 Point
Next, the AS Staff evaluated the quality of learning at the affordable colleges for funeral service and mortuary science degree majors. Each had to hold current regional accreditation from six agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Though not required, we noted extra accreditation from the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE). Our team then looked at average graduation rates for 2018-19. Graduation rates show the percentage of undergrads who remain at the college until degree completion. Higher percentages often indicate a better classroom and campus experience. More students are satisfied enough with the courses, faculty, extracurricular activities, and career services to stay. Our researchers gave each economical funeral service and mortuary science degree one to three points based on graduation rate to ensure good academic outcomes.
More than 50 Percent – 3 Points
Between 30 and 50 Percent – 2 Points
Less than 30 Percent – 1 Point
Ultimately, Affordable Schools gave the most attention to top-value funeral service and mortuary science degree opportunities with low tuition. Personal care industry jobs have a modest salary potential. Spending less money on college today typically means keeping more of your paychecks later. Reasonably priced courses won’t leave you strapped for cash and paying back loads of debt. That’s great since Forbes documented a student loan crisis record of $1.5 trillion in 2019! Our team carefully analyzed last year’s enrollment cost data to locate inexpensive studies. We recorded the average full-time tuition and fees at all 10 mortician schools as reported by NCES. We prioritized affordability by giving one to five points for current in-state undergrad expenses. Our staff listed the affordable colleges for funeral service and mortuary science degree programs in descending order based on total points awarded.
Under $7,500 – 5 Points
$7,500 to $15,000 – 3 Points
$15,001 and Above – 1 Point
Ranking the 10 Best Affordable Colleges for Funeral Service and Mortuary Science Degrees
10. Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science
Total Points: 3
Partnered with the University of Cincinnati’s Body Donation Program for its Embalming Applications Lab, the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science is the oldest private, nonprofit funeral service school founded by Joseph Henry Clarke in March 1882 that enrolls 144 undergrads on its 16-acre Finneytown campus at a 15:1 student-faculty ratio. In 2019, CCMS had a $5,000 Funeral Service Foundation Scholarship Award recipient. In 2001, the Cincinnati College had the Ohio Funeral Directors Association Outstanding Leadership Award winner. College Factual ranked the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science top for funeral service programs. Forbes named Cincinnati the 63rd best city for careers and 79th top education location. Livability declared Cincinnati the 10th cheapest place to reside.
The Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science starts our ranking’s top 10 affordable colleges for funeral service and mortuary science degree courses with universal tuition of $17,775. Adjacent to St. Xavier High School, CCMS confers a high-value Bachelor of Mortuary Science in 16 months for full-time students with more than credits graded C or better. Overseen by Dr. Jack Lechner Jr., the 62-credit, ABFSE-accredited curriculum integrates six cooperative education weeks into courses from Restorative Arts to Disaster Management. If needed, learners can transfer from the Associate of Applied Science in Mortuary Science. Graduates take the National Board Exam and pursue the InSight Certified Funeral Celebrant credential for 93 percent job placement. There’s also a Crematory Operator Certification Program.
Bachelor of Mortuary Science
In-State Tuition: $17,775
Out-of-State Tuition: $17,775
Student-Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Graduation Rate: N/A
9. Lindenwood University
St. Charles, MO
Total Points: 5
Hosting the St. Louis Regional Consortium of Higher Education’s Black Male Success Conference in 2019, Lindenwood University is a private, nonprofit GLVC member that’s endowed for $143.4 million to educate 6,491 undergrad Lions from 47 states in 115 majors and more than 70 academic clubs with 50 percent completion. In 2014, Lindenwood received the NCAA Division II Award of Academic Excellence. In 2018, Lindenwood won the MCMA Best In-Depth News Reporting Award for Legacy magazine. The U.S. News & World Report ranked Lindenwood University 224th for social mobility and 102nd for online bachelor’s courses. Lindenwood was lauded America’s 65th most diverse school on Niche, 94th safest campus environment by WalletHub, and 580th top master’s institution in Washington Monthly.
Lindenwood University is Affordable Schools’ ninth best accredited university for funeral service and mortuary science degree programs that charge everyone $17,600 yearly. The School of Professional Studies delivers a low-cost Mortuary Management B.S. online on Canvas or face-to-face in St. Charles to advance business skills. Rolling admission lets already licensed A.A.S. in Funeral Service graduates with 60-64 credits and GPAs above 2.0 apply anytime. Headed by Dr. Gina Ganahl, the 128-credit, HLC-accredited completion path immerses transfers in accelerated eight-week courses like Performance Appraisal Systems and Managerial Ethics. Since 2001, there’s been a helpful 2+2 articulation agreement with Forest Park Community College. Before the capstone project, Lions could also complete funeral service apprenticeships, such as O’Donnell Funeral Home or DeGraffenreid-Wood Crematory.
Bachelor of Science in Mortuary Management
In-State Tuition: $17,600
Out-of-State Tuition: $17,600
Student-Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Graduation Rate: 50 percent
8. Gannon University
Total Points: 6
Funding the $3,000 Health Professions & Science Scholarship Competition each Fall, Gannon University is a private, nonprofit Catholic PSAC member founded in 1925 by the Diocese of Erie that’s endowed for $63.4 million to employ 347 faculty teaching 4,291 Golden Knights for 98 degrees with 67 percent six-year completion. In 2019, Gannon earned Aetna’s “Changing the World” Workplace Well-Being Award. In 2018, Gannon won the National IBS Best College Radio Station Award for WERG 90.5FM. The U.S. News & World Report ranked Gannon University 159th for social mobility and 218th for private education. Gannon was picked America’s 358th top value in Money magazine, 254th most conservative school on Niche, and 391st best overall institution by The Wall Street Journal.
Gannon University finished as the AS Staff’s eighth best affordable accredited college for funeral service and mortuary science degree studies with a $32,136 annual price. At Palumbo Academic Center, the School of Humanities & Social Sciences provides a top-value 3+1 B.S. in Mortuary Science with the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science to fulfill Commonwealth licensure requirements. Coordinated by Dr. Parris Baker, the 98-credit, MSCHE-accredited sequence integrates the Professional Lecture Series into Erie courses like Counseling Older Adults and Death & Dying. Golden Knights complete 90 hours of embedded field experience placements, such as Brugger Funeral Homes or Ballweg & Lunsford Funeral Home, for 98 percent certification. The 16-credit Gerontology Minor might also be useful.
Bachelor of Science in Mortuary Science
In-State Tuition: $32,136
Out-of-State Tuition: $32,136
Student-Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Graduation Rate: 67 percent
7. Point Park University
Total Points: 6
Granted $25,000 from the Remmel Foundation for its National Security Training Center’s Forensic Anatomy Lab, Point Park University is a private, nonprofit RSC member opened in 1960 that’s endowed for $47.1 million to support 4,099 Pioneers from 33 countries across 77 majors at a 12:1 student-faculty ratio. In 2019, PPU was a Master Builder’s Association of Western Pennsylvania Excellence Award finalist. In 2018, Point Park received the Urban Land Institute’s Placemaker Award of Excellence for Healthy Places. The U.S. News & World Report ranked Point Park University the 21st top regional value and 48th best for vets college. PPU was placed America’s 105th most liberal school on Niche, 62nd best social services program by College Factual, and 371st best buck in Washington Monthly.
Point Park University stands seventh among our affordable colleges for funeral service and mortuary science degree opportunities with average annual tuition of $31,450. The Department of Natural Sciences, Engineering & Technology offers a high-value B.S. in Funeral Service for two custom concentrations: Health Science or Business Administration. Chaired by Dr. Gregg Johnson, the 120-credit, MSCHE-accredited plan involves three years on-site and one year at the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science. Associate in Specialized Business graduates choose the 36-credit, 20-month Bachelor of Science Capstone Program instead. Beyond courses like Psychology of Death and Bereavement Services, Pioneers finish trimester-long internships from to Bucktrout Funeral Home to the Medical Examiner’s Office.
Bachelor of Science in Funeral Service
In-State Tuition: $31,450
Out-of-State Tuition: $31,450
Student-Faculty Ratio: 12:1
Graduation Rate: 60 percent
6. SUNY College of Technology at Canton
Total Points: 6
Offering a full-tuition Excelsior Scholarship for families making under $125,000 until April 15th and August 15th, SUNY College of Technology at Canton is a public, high-tech STEM branch established in 1906 that’s endowed for $12.8 million to educate 3,200 Kangaroos near the St. Lawrence River with an 18:1 student-faculty ratio. In 2016, Canton had the NASA Robert H. Goddard Award for Science recipient. In 2015, the College of Technology earned a SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching. The U.S. News & World Report ranked SUNY College of Technology at Canton 93rd for online bachelor’s courses and 13th for veterans. Canton was classified America’s 577th most diverse school on Niche, 504th top value by College Factual, and 249th best investment on PayScale.
SUNY College of Technology at Canton is our website’s sixth most affordable university for funeral service and mortuary science degree programs with a $8,389 in-state cost. At Cook Hall, the School of Science, Health & Criminal Justice admits B.Tech. in Funeral Services Administration cohorts with GPAs above 2.0 to care for the dead with dignity. Organized by Dr. David Penepent, the 123-credit, ABFSE-accredited offering requires completing $50 Blue Card applications before courses like Thanatochemistry and Analytical Embalming. Seniors log into Blackboard for online assignments during year-long internships, such as O’Leary Funeral Services. Graduates have a 92 percent first-time National Board Exam pass rate. There’s also a B.Tech. Completion Option for already licensed morticians.
Bachelor of Technology in Funeral Services Administration
In-State Tuition: $8,389
Out-of-State Tuition: $12,379
Student-Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Graduation Rate: 40 percent
5. University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
Total Points: 7
Highly regarded for founding the State Undertaker’s Association School of Embalming in March 1908, the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities is a flagship public, land-grant AAU member that’s affiliated with 30 Nobel Laureates and budgeting $3.8 billion to serve 51,580 Golden Gophers from 130 countries in 19 colleges for 80 percent completion. In 2017, Minnesota accepted the NACHC Helping Build Healthy Communities Award. In 2018, UMN won a Council for Advancement & Support of Education Grand Gold Excellence Award. The U.S. News & World Report ranked the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities 27th for public education and 42nd for veteran services. UMN was named America’s 84th top value in Money, 149th best employer by Forbes, and 37th best medical college on Niche.
The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities reached the top five affordable colleges for funeral service and mortuary science degree options with a $14,760 in-state rate. At Jackson Hall, the Medical School provides a low-cost Mortuary Science B.S. for upper-division Golden Gophers with minimum 2.5 GPAs during 60 credits of prerequisites. Outlined by Dr. Michael LuBrant, the 60-credit, ABFSE-accredited major has 110 years of experience teaching courses like Funeral Arrangements Theory and Funeral Service Merchandising. Seniors complete two 16-week clinical rotations at more than 50 partners, such as Sunset Funeral Chapel or Bradshaw Cremation Services, for 96 percent job placement. Second-degree bachelor’s students could even tackle the One-Year Accelerated Track from September to August.
Bachelor of Science in Mortuary Science
In-State Tuition: $14,760
Out-of-State Tuition: $30,438
Student-Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Graduation Rate: 80 percent
4. Southern Illinois University-Carbondale
Total Points: 7
Sponsoring the Out of Darkness Campus Walk for Suicide Prevention each April, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale is a public, coed MVC member formed in 1869 near the Shawnee National Forest that’s endowed for $149.1 million to enroll 14,554 Salukis from more than 100 countries across 212 degrees at a 13:1 student-faculty ratio. In 2013, SIU claimed the National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence Championship Award. In 2017, Carbondale earned the Insight Into Diversity Higher Education Excellence Award. The U.S. News & World Report ranked Southern Illinois University-Carbondale 270th for social mobility and 123rd for public education. SIU was selected America’s 387th top college by The Wall Street Journal, 178th best employer in Forbes, and 317th best faculty on Niche.
Southern Illinois University-Carbondale was chosen the AS Staff’s fourth most affordable college for funeral service and mortuary science degree majors with $14,704 in-state tuition. The College of Applied Sciences & Arts presents the only public economical B.S. in Mortuary Science and Funeral Service for Land of Lincoln residents dedicated to quality death care. Administered by Dr. Andy Ju An Wang, the 120-credit, ABFSE-accredited curriculum entails four years of courses like Mortuary Regulations and Principles of Cremation. Only licensed A.A.S. graduates can take the 42-credit Online MSFS Completion Track II on Desire2Learn. Upperclassmen are assigned 13-week preceptorships, such as Meredith-Waddell Funeral Home. Each year, more than 35 Salukis graduate for 93 percent National Board certification.
Bachelor of Science in Mortuary Science and Funeral Service
In-State Tuition: $14,704
Out-of-State Tuition: $29,160
Student-Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Graduation Rate: 41 percent
3. Cypress College
Total Points: 7
Belonging to the North Orange County Community College District since September 1966, Cypress College is a public, state-funded CCCS member that’s endowed for $75 million to employ 615 faculty inspiring 16,214 Chargers online or on its 110-acre campus designed by Caudill Rowlett Scott near Disneyland Resort. In 2018, Cypress received the California Community Colleges Strong Workforce Stars Program’s Gold Award. In 2019, Cypress College had the NOCCCD Chancellor’s Above and Beyond Award for Career Technical Education recipient. PayScale ranked Cypress College 118th with a median mid-career salary of $69,500. On Niche, Cypress boasts America’s 54th best two-year community college degrees and 249th most diverse location plus 100 percent acceptance.
Cypress College takes bronze as Affordable Schools’ third best accredited university for funeral service and mortuary science degree majors who spend only $1,140 in-state. Since August 2017, the Health Science Division has admitted Fall B.S. in Funeral Service cohorts who’ve already finished an associate degree. Led by Dr. Rebecca Gomez, the 120-unit, WASC-accredited sequence requires hands-on courses like Cemetery Operations, Mortuary Jurisprudence, and Anthropology of Death. Two four-unit externships, such as Forest Lawn Mortuary or Reflections Funeral Services, are included 320 or more practice hours. Alumni are eligible for the Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP) credential and California licensing. There’s also an A.S. in Mortuary Science available.
Bachelor of Science in Funeral Service
In-State Tuition: $1,140
Out-of-State Tuition: $6,158
Student-Faculty Ratio: 24:1
Graduation Rate: 26 percent
2. Mid-America College of Funeral Service
Total Points: 8
Running the Lambda Kappa Chapter of the Pi Sigma Eta Fraternity, the Mid-America College of Funeral Service is a small private, nonsectarian specialized institution established in 1905 by Clifford Askins that gifts $533,720 in financial aid yearly to 122 undergrads studying online or in Jeffersonville along the Ohio River. In 2005, MACFS had the Morton Chamber Distinguished Service Award recipient. In 2017, Mid-America had a National Funeral Directors Association Best of the Best Award winner. College Factual ranked the Mid-America College of Funeral Service #2 nationwide among mortician schools. PayScale recorded an average mid-career wage of $53,100 for MACFS alumni. Niche crowned Jeffersonville as Indiana’s 14th most diverse suburb and 20th best place for young professionals.
The Mid-America College of Funeral Service was our list’s runner-up with an affordable distance education funeral service and mortuary science degree that bills $11,900 per year. On Moodle, the MACFS bestows a cheap online Bachelor of Science in Funeral Service Management at a 10:1 student-faculty ratio for well-rounded administrative abilities. Supervised by Dr. Mitch Mitchell, the 180-unit, ABFSE-accredited online pathway is reserved for licensed mortuary staff with 60 or more associate credits. Transfers log into fast 11-week, 300-level major courses like Intercultural Appreciation, Stress Management, and Event Planning with zero practicum requirements. If chosen, undergrads can add the 10-credit Certificate in Thanatology or Certificate in Death Companioning for End-of-Life Professionals.
Bachelor of Science in Funeral Service Management
In-State Tuition: $11,900
Out-of-State Tuition: $11,900
Student-Faculty Ratio: 10:1
Graduation Rate: 92 percent
1. University of Central Oklahoma
Total Points: 8
Partnered with the Calm Waters Center for Children & Families for its Summer Grief Workshop each June, the University of Central Oklahoma is a public, coed MIAA member created in 1890 that’s endowed for $35.4 million to employ 834 faculty mentoring 15,067 undergrad Bronchos from 92 countries within eight colleges for 36 percent graduation. In 2018, Central Oklahoma won the AASCU Excellence in Student Success and Innovation Award. In 2011, UCO accepted the Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Leadership Award. The U.S. News & World Report ranked the University of Central Oklahoma 87th for social mobility. UCO was crowned America’s 244th top public school on Niche, 569th best university in Forbes, and 315th most diverse institution by College Factual.
The University of Central Oklahoma reached the top spot of affordable colleges for funeral service and mortuary science degree offerings with low in-state tuition of $7,489. Online on D2L Brightspace or at Coyner Health Sciences Hall, the Department of Funeral Service awards a cheap Bachelor of Science (B.S.) for community leaders to help bereaved families through their loss. Managed by Dr. John Fritch, the 124-credit, ABFSE-accredited program offers the Heisenberg Uncertainty Fund Scholarship to make courses like Embalming Chemistry and Funeral Service Statutory Law even cheaper. Minimum 2.0 GPAs are required to complete “Transformative Learning” practica placements, such as Baggerley Funeral Home or Crawford Family Cremation Service, for NBE preparation. Bronchos might also join Sigma Phi Sigma, study abroad in Italy, and add the Financial Planning Certificate.
Bachelor of Science in Funeral Service
In-State Tuition: $7,489
Out-of-State Tuition: $18,376
Student-Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Graduation Rate: 36 percent
Which Jobs are Available After Funeral Service and Mortuary Science Degree Programs?
Finishing 120 or more college credits within an affordable degree in funeral service and mortuary science will qualify you for several careers helping survivors memorialize their dearly departed. For example, funeral service directors work with friends and families to plan then carry out ceremonies for deceased persons. Funeral service managers supervise all day-to-day operations at funeral homes and hire needed staff on budget. Mortuary transport technicians are responsible for moving the person’s remains from the coroner’s office to burial place or crematory. Embalmers preserve the corpse for funeral viewings by replacing bodily fluids with special chemical solutions. Funeral sales associates market and pre-sell packages to living individuals preparing for their eventual death. Grief counselors provide short- or long-term emotional support to sorrowful loved ones during mourning. Cemetery administrators manage large burial grounds by selling grave plots and performing necessary upkeep.
How Much Do Funeral Service and Mortuary Science Degree Graduates Earn?
Picking affordable colleges for funeral service and mortuary science degree programs is recommended because death care rightly isn’t a profession where people get rich. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a median annual pay of $24,420 for personal service positions. Mortuary cosmetologists receive an average salary of $24,830. Embalmers earn a mean yearly wage of $44,250. Morticians and undertakers are compensated $29,050 to $89,050 each year. Funeral service managers are the highest paid with a $93,820 average. Funeral sales representatives bring home a median income of $52,510. Gerontological social workers make mean profits of $49,470 per year. Grief counselors can expect average pay of $47,740. Cemetery administrators collect a median yearly payment of $51,707. Mortuary transport technicians drive toward a mean salary of $30,500. In May 2018, the top-paying states for funeral service workers were Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, North Dakota, and Massachusetts.
What is the Future Job Outlook With a Cheap Funeral Service and Mortuary Science Degree?
Graduates of affordable colleges for funeral service and mortuary science degree programs enter an in-demand, recession-proof field that will be necessary as long as humans exist. The National Institute on Aging reports that more than 500 million people globally are now at least 65 years old. By 2030, one out of every eight people will be a senior citizen. Having a large elderly population entering the final years of their lives will spark job growth for mortuary service staff. The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that the employment of funeral directors and morticians will hit 30,300 for a 3 percent increase by 2028. Funeral service managers will see a 5 percent uptick for 1,200 new jobs countrywide. Mortuary cosmetologists face faster-than-average 8 percent growth. Demand for administrative services managers will expand by 7 percent. Sales representative jobs will slowly increase by 2 percent this decade. Meanwhile, grief counselor openings will skyrocket by 22 percent. Add a high-value funeral service and mortuary science degree to your resume for rewarding careers granting people’s final wishes.
This concludes our ranking of the top 10 best affordable bachelor’s in funeral service and mortuary science degree programs for 2019.
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