During his current college tour, President Obama will unveil a broad new plan that aims to make college education more affordable.

How? By “spreading the wealth” by using a revised by overhauling the college-ranking system.

The plan, which Obama will roll out on a two-day campus bus tour that starts Thursday in Buffalo, would create a ranking system beginning in 2015 to evaluate colleges on tuition, the percentage of low-income students, graduation rates and debt of graduates.

Eventually, as an incentive for schools to make improvements in these areas, federal financial aid would be awarded based on those rankings.

Obama aims to create the rankings through executive action, but the plan to reallocate federal aid based on the rankings would require congressional approval.

The president seeks to make college more affordable in two ways. First, the rankings would reward colleges that offer “value.” A school that holds down average tuition and student-loan debt could rise in the rankings, which means that the system would act as an incentive for colleges to keep those costs as low as possible.

In addition, higher-ranking schools would qualify for larger federal grants, making them more affordable for students.

Obama’s proposal comes as the White House prepares for battle with House Republicans on a series of fiscal issues in the fall, and it is not clear whether he can succeed in persuading lawmakers to back this or any other initiative. Still, the president says he is on “a personal mission” to combat soaring tuition at the nation’s colleges and to make higher education more affordable for middle-class families.

“Just tinkering around the edges won’t be enough,” Obama wrote in an e-mail to supporters this week. “We’ve got to shake up the current system.”

Obama’s plan could face opposition from entrenched interests in academia. In the e-mail to supporters, Obama acknowledged that his proposals “won’t all be popular with everyone — including some who’ve made higher education their business — but it’s past time that more of our colleges work better for the students they exist to serve.”