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President Obama praises ASU's online programs

President Barack Obama gestures as he speaks at the University at Buffalo, the State University of New York, Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013 in Buffalo, N.Y., where he began his two day bus tour to speak about college financial aid. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

President Barack Obama pointed to Arizona State University on Thursday as an example of innovation in higher education.

"Universities like Carnegie Mellon, Arizona State, they're starting to show that online learning can help students master the same material in less time and often at lower cost," Obama said.

The president spoke in Buffalo, N.Y., where he announced a proposal of a rating system for colleges that would judge schools on affordability and performance and ultimately determine how federal financial aid is distributed.

Obama said he would like to see the plan implemented by 2015. The system would assess institutions on graduation rates, tuition, amount of student-loan debt, among other criteria.

ASU Online offers over 30 undergraduate degrees and over two dozen graduate degrees.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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