President Obama: "Put education first"

President Barack Obama addresses the audience at the university's Gregory Gym.
President Barack Obama addresses the audience at the university's Gregory Gym. Photos: Marsha Miller

Know is on the scene for President Barack Obama's Aug. 9 speech at Gregory Gym on The University of Texas at Austin campus.

President Barack Obama walked into a crowded Gregory Gym showing his "Hook 'em, Horns" hand sign.

The president discussed higher education and the need to become more globally competitive.

President Barack Obama
President Barack Obama shows his "Hook 'em, Horns" hand sign. 

"We have been slipping," he said. "In a single generation we have fallen from first place to 12th place in college graduation rates. That is unacceptable, but not irreversible."

Obama said the solution includes making college more affordable, overhauling the Federal Student Loan program and streamlining student loan repayment.

"The way to move forward is to put education first," he said. "Education and opportunity always go hand in hand."

There's more on Know about President Barack Obama:

In anticipation of the president's visit to campus today (Aug. 9), we asked University of Texas at Austin experts what they think will be the most important issues for his administration to address during the next two years. Read their responses.

President Barack Obama
President Barack Obama addresses a crowded Gregory Gym. 
A young woman listens to the president
A young woman listens to the president's remarks. 
President Barack Obama greets students
President Barack Obama greets students. 

A young woman shows her "Hook 'em, Horns" at the president's speech.