Mississippi's institutions of higher learning have asked lawmakers for $72.4 million more for the fiscal year that begins next July 1.
"We've made a lot of cuts. We have consolidated programs. Now we have hit a wall," higher education commissioner Hanks Bounds told members of the Joint Legislative Budget Committee on Tuesday.
Bounds said while there was a time when state appropriations were the main source of money, tuition now represents about 59 percent of the universities' budgets while state funding has dropped to 32 percent.
In May, the state College Board decided tuition will rise about 8.5 percent, on average, this fall at the eight public universities. The board predicts an increase of between 5 percent and 6.9 percent will be needed for the 2013-14 year.