After significant cuts in recent years, the state College Board is seeking a 4.3 percent, or $30.5 million, increase from last fiscal year, bringing the total funding bid for the eight public universities to nearly $747 million.
Leaders of the state's community colleges also want more money from legislators crafting the budget this legislative session.
"If Mississippi is going to move to a higher-skills, higher-wage economy, we must have a better educated citizenry," said Hank Bounds, commissioner of higher education.
The College Board's request lists $375.5 million for general support of on- and off-campus education. That includes $25,950,000 in Ayers settlement funding, which aims to compensate for past underfunding of the state's three historically black universities.