LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Two local colleges have signed a seven-year extension for a UPS program that allows students to earn a degree, debt-free, while working.

During this next extension, the program is looking to encourage more students to consider careers in high-demand fields like computer sciences and health care.

On Tuesday, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, as well as officials with UPS, the University of Louisville and Jefferson Community and Technical College, joined with students to ceremonially sign the Metropolitan College program extension.

The program allows U of L and JCTC students to work overnight at UPS Worldport. Those students earn a paycheck, bonuses and free tuition.

The program also works with local companies to help place students in careers after graduation.

Thalia Almenares says she moved to Louisville from Cuba three years ago, and without the Metropolitan College program, she likely would no longer be in school working to earn her dental hygiene degree.

"One of my favorite phrases is, 'dreams don't work unless you do,'" said Almenares. "I'm working on making my dreams come true, but UPS with the Metro College program is allowing me to do so."

The current extension continues into spring of 2027.

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