President Obama unveiled this morning a multi-step plan to make higher education more afforable and pointedly added individual state governments will have to work make public colleges and university educations affordable to the middle class.

“State Legislatures are going to have to step up,” Obama said in his speech, which lasted roughly a half hour.

At the centerpiece of the plan is a new rating system that would grade colleges on affordability and performance in order to gauge how federal aid can be spent.

“A higher education is the single most important investment students can make in their own futures,” Obama said. “At the same time, it has never been more expensive.”

The president’s full remarks can be viewed here in case you missed it.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo greeted Obama in Buffalo at the airport alongside his daughters, two of whom will be starting college at Brown and Harvard this weekend.

The battle over tuition increases here in New York has been an acute one.

Cuomo and the Legislature in 2011 approved a plan that increases SUNY tuition 30 percent over the next five years while also approving multi-year spending cuts.

Advocates for the plan, including the governor and state university leaders, have contended the move made the cost of college tuition more predictable than in years past.

Obama is now heading toward Syracuse this afternoon to speak at a local high school.

On Friday, Obama will speak in a town-hall style event at SUNY Binghamton.

The White House pool report is being closely monitored to determine where the presidential lunch will be had.