PSU offers ‘Four Years Free’ to students

Incoming students must meet eligibility requirements

FILE - Portland State University. June 22, 2013. (KOIN 6 News)
FILE - Portland State University. June 22, 2013. (KOIN 6 News)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Read the fine print, but it may be possible for you to go to Portland State University for free.

The program called “Four Years Free” will take effect in fall 2017, PSU officials said Tuesday. It’s designed for Oregon residents who meet the requirements:

— A 3.4 GPA
— Apply for federal student aid
— Be eligible for a Pell Grant
— Apply for and accept federal and state grants

Incoming students must complete their FAFSA by February 1 and apply for fall term admission by May 1.

“Four Years Free” covers tuition and mandatory fees for up to 15 credits per term, possibly saving students around $8400 per year, PSU officials said. But it doesn’t cover housing.

Combining federal and state grants and money from PSU is what makes “Four Years Free” possible, the university said. Students can keep it by maintaining at least a 2.0 GPA and their financial eligibility.

“Forty percent of our students are ethnically and racially diverse. We serve a large number of first generation college students, a large number of transfers. That’s different from any other school students are considering. We’re hoping that this program really allows students to see the options available, and know that it’s actually affordable to get a college degree,” said Shannon Carr, executive director of admissions and new student programming.

PSU said part of the reason for the new program is a response to student protests that centered on tuition hikes.