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Obama: College Has Never Been More Important

FILE - U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during an exclusive interview with Reuters in the Library of the White House in Washington, March 2, 2015.

U.S. President Barack Obama says a college degree is the "surest ticket to the middle class," but "just when it's never been more important," a college degree "has never been more expensive."

The president said Saturday in his weekly address that his administration has worked hard to make college more affordable and this past week he unveiled yet another way to help more Americans afford college that does not involve "any new spending or bureaucracy."

The Student Aid Bill of Rights is a "simple declaration of values," the president said, that declares that "every student deserves access to quality, affordable education" with the access to the resources to pay for college and an affordable repayment plan.

The president said federal and state lawmakers, as well as colleges and lenders can work to bring these "simple principles" into reality.

President Obama urged Americans to go to Opportunity to sign their names to the declaration to ensure that higher education does not become "a privilege reserved for only the few," but is instead "available to everybody who's willing to work for it."