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President Obama, starting a two-day bus tour through New York and Pennsylvania Thursday, will announce the creation of a new college ratings system before the 2015 school year — a metric he would like to use to shift more federal dollars to higher-performing universities.

Obama is directing the Department of Education to develop a college ratings system based on factors like graduation rates, tuition, graduates’ earnings and accessibility for low-income students.

Under the president’s plan, beginning in 2018, students who attend the schools receiving higher ratings would have access to larger Pell grants and more affordable student loans. However, such a blueprint requires congressional approval.

“Almost all [federal resources] are allocated among colleges based on the number of students who enroll, not the number who earn degrees or what they learn,” the White House said Thursday, previewing the higher-education push. “President Obama’s plan will connect student aid to outcomes, which will in turn drive a better, more affordable education for all students.”

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