President Barack Obama says college affordability is a distant target for many low-income young people in America.  

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At a White House gathering of more than 100 college leaders Thursday, the president said that he is committed to all efforts to expand middle class growth.

"Unemployment for Americans with a college degree is more than a third lower than the national average," Obama said.

The event, which attracted more than 100 leaders in higher education, underscored both the power of the presidency to convene influential figures to bring about change, as well as the limitations of a second-term president trying to drive sweeping changes in the face of a divided Congress.

Paul Shelly, a spokesman for the New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities, says we are ahead the the national curve in enhancing low-income college affordability.

"For many low income people, the biggest obstacle is that they're afraid of the cost, and they're working while they go to school, so it takes them longer and maybe they don't graduate," Shelly said.

Shelly said there are some great public-private partnerships working to help in New Jersey, but we need to get the message out about them.