State Of The Union 2011: Obama Expresses Support For Increased College Aid, Pell Grants

President Barack Obama pledged support to reestablish America as the global leader in higher education in his State of the Union address last night.

The president decried higher education budget cuts, which have become all the more common as states try to balance their coffers. "Cutting the deficit by gutting our investments in innovation and education is like lightening an overloaded airplane by removing its engine," he said. "It may feel like you're flying high at first, but it won't take long before you'll feel the impact." Education would not be included in the five-year spending freeze he outlined before Congress.

According to a White House fact sheet on the speech, Obama has several plans in motion to make college more affordable, including a bolstered Pell Grant program, more affordable student loans and the permanent establishment of the American Opportunity Tax Credit.

Obama also noted that reforming immigration laws is key in raising America's status as an education leader. "Let's stop expelling talented, responsible young people who can staff our research labs, start new businesses and further enrich this nation," he said.

What did you think of Obama's speech and his plans for education? Weigh in below.