PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The cost of higher education just became more affordable for many students at Portland State University, which has expanded its Four Years Free and Transfers Finish Free programs.

With the Four Years Free program, eligible Oregon high school graduates didn’t have to pay for base tuition or mandatory fees as full-time PSU students after financial aid had already been applied. The Transfers Finish Free program did the same for eligible transfer students.

The university’s new “Tuition-Free Degree” is an amalgamation of those two institutional aid programs. Beginning in fall 2023, Pell-eligible students will have their base tuition and mandatory fees covered by the university even if they attend classes on a part-time basis.

The new program will continue to serve students supported by the FYF and TFF programs, as well as those re-enrolling as undergraduate students. According to PSU, the state’s only public urban research university, more students who have jobs or raise families while in school will benefit from the enhanced program as long as they take between six and 16 credit hours per term.

“From our very first days as a university, PSU has served nontraditional and working students,” PSU President Stephen Percy said in a release. “The last few years of the pandemic have taught us that flexibility is essential for all of our students but especially those most in financial need. Our new Tuition-Free Degree program delivers on that flexibility and puts a college degree in reach for all.”

The funding covers the remaining costs of tuition, building fees, incidental fees, health service fees and more. It doesn’t, however, pay for expenses including course fees, room and board, or transportation or parking.

Students who enroll in PSU’s fall, winter and spring terms are eligible for the program, but the university hasn’t expanded it to include summer term enrollment.

PSU has scheduled a Virtual Admissions Information Session on Thursday, March 2, that will allow current and prospective students to inquire about the Tuition-Free Degree.

The deadline to apply to PSU this fall is Tuesday, Aug. 1.