Obama to host college accessibility summit next month

President Obama will host a summit with college presidents and members of the private sector in early December as part of his push to improve college accessibility, the White House said Wednesday.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said the conference would focus specifically on aiding "young people from disadvantaged backgrounds" get into and complete college.

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"This will include ensuring that we reach disadvantaged students early enough so that they are on a path to succeed in college and in their careers, and to help them wherever possible to match to the colleges where they are most likely to succeed," Carney said.

In August, the administration announced the creation of a new ranking system designed to tamp down on rapidly escalating tuition costs. The Department of Education ratings grades universities on their value to students, providing applicants with a clearer idea of which schools give students the best bang for their buck.

At the time, the president proposed tying federal aid to the rating system to incentivize schools to help their students graduate with an affordable education.

The president also called for a new $1 billion federal program that would be used to fund new programs designed to help students graduate with less debt. 

The White House wants to encourage universities to allow students to take classes at their own pace, complete introductory courses at community colleges, and offer rigorous online degrees.

Carney said Wednesday that at the event the administration would look to promote such initiatives.

"We want to use this event as an opportunity to see how we can scale up the most successful approaches to helping students reach and succeed in college," Carney said. "And this will complement our efforts to address the issue of college cost for all students by focusing on their mission of a quality education at an affordable price."

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