Portland State University will be offering free tuition for transfer students beginning in Fall 2018.

Expanding a program already available for students who enroll in their first year, the Transfers Finish Free program will cover tuition and mandatory fees for in-state students who are low-income and transfer from a four-year university or community college.

"Transfers Finish Free will make it easier for eligible transfer students, who are the majority of PSU's student body, to attend the university without struggling to find funds to cover tuition," says PSU President Rahmat Shoureshi. "Their successes at PSU and beyond will enhance their lives and boost Oregon's economy."

PSU transferring students will have to qualify for the federal Pell Grant and enroll as a full-time student and have at least a 2.5 G.P.A.

The university's previous tuition-free initiative, Four Years Free, was launched in fall of 2016. It enrolled more than 500 low-income high school students for fall 2017.

"The success of our other tuition initiative, Four Years Free, to cover tuition and fees for incoming freshman has generated demand for additional programs to help increase access for transfer students," says John Fraire, PSU's vice president for enrollment management and student services. "Transfers Finish Free is our answer to helping low-income community college students attend PSU."

Fraire also says that the transfer tuition will give community colleges a financial aid tool to encourage students to achieve good grades so that they can afford to finish college at PSU.

Students need at least 30 or more transferable quarter credits — or 20 semester credits — after earning a high school degree.

The Transfers Finish Free program applies to all students not currently enrolled at PSU who meet the other qualifications. A transfer student, for instance, can have a semester left in college and still qualify if they meet the program's requirements.

"We don't want any deserving transfer student to be turned away from an opportunity to obtain a college degree because of their financial status," Fraire said. "That's why PSU is not planning to cap the number of students eligible for the free tuition."

The program is also a "last dollar" program, Fraire says, which means that any student eligible must accept and use all federal and state grants first before PSU makes up the difference.

The deadline for the first scholarships is July 1 for completing an application to PSU and the FAFSA.