Education, despite all the messaging that would have you think otherwise, rarely looks like a linear, traditional journey. For some, college begins at one point and takes a break at another, only to begin again years down the line. For others, college is completed alongside a series of jobs and children at home. At Portland State University, a college degree is not meant to be one-size-fits-all. No two graduates look alike, but all graduates benefit from the resources and partnerships that lead to careers at Intel, Oregon Health & Science University, Nike, Mercy Corps and others. Here are five ways that Portland State can work for everyone, regardless of age, background or circumstance.

Campus life reflects real life.

The idea that all college students can fit neatly into one category has never applied at PSU. Students come from all backgrounds and reflect the realities of life outside of the college bubble, making up a population that thrives in its diversity. Three-quarters of PSU students work either part-time or full-time, one-quarter of PSU students have dependent children, nearly 40% are over the age of 24 and there are more than 800 veteran students. At PSU, these lived experiences contribute to an engaging, dynamic campus culture. To assist this wide variety of students with their personal and academic needs, from child care to career services, there are 10 cultural and resource centers at every student's disposal.

Your degree works around your schedule.

For many of us, the world has become remote and what was once in-person is now online. This virtual model is familiar ground at PSU. At the university, students are able to engage with flexible degrees that include a mix of online and on-campus courses to work with each individual schedule. For those whose lives can't work around a full stack of on-campus courses, virtual programs can mold to fit your life–not the other way around. Independent-minded college students can work with the same esteemed faculty that teach on the Oregon campus, all while fostering lasting relationships with fellow classmates from the comfort–and ease–of their own home. Online Master's programs include Social Work and a Healthcare MBA, and online Bachelor's programs include Criminal Justice, Public Health and Business.

Downtown Portland is just a bus ride away.

PSU's downtown location makes it easy to travel to and from campus–easy enough that 92% of students are regular commuters. For those eco-friendly students who choose to travel by bike, PSU offers indoor bike garages and full-service repairs with on-campus resources. For those who choose to travel by foot, students benefit from living in one of America's most walkable cities with free trips on the Portland Streetcar. And for those who participate in the city's public transportation system, the PSU campus falls right at the intersection of bus, light rail and streetcar lines for easy access.

Financial wellness is a priority.

Now more than ever, students are weighing the costs and benefits of investing in a college degree. To ease the financial burden on students, PSU offers comprehensive financial aid and a series of cost-saving programs. One such program is Four Years Free, in which PSU covers standard tuition and fees for eligible Oregon freshmen for up to four years. Another is Transfers Finish Free, which allows eligible Oregon transfer students to finish their degree at PSU for free, regardless of where they are in their education. At PSU, financial wellness and literacy is critical—all students have access to the college's Financial Wellness Center, which offers coaching for money management and budgeting.

Transfer students are supported through every step.

At PSU, there is no set timeline for when you are meant to begin and finish your educational journey–Portland State welcomes more transfer students than any other college in Oregon. To aid this transition, students have access to 11 cultural and resource centers including the Transfer and Returning Student Resource Center, and they are matched with an academic advisor who will remain with them for the duration of their PSU career. Here, success is collaborative, with resources and services to guide each student through their time in college.

Learn more about getting a degree at Portland State here.