AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) - UMass says it needs close to $500 million to fund the system's educational programs.
The University's request comes on the heels of Governor Patrick announcing the state is facing a budget gap.
Governor Patrick says closing the $540 million dollar shortfall will take spending cuts, and taking money from the state's rainy day fund.
UMass President Robert Caret is asking for $480 million and says the 8% increase in funding will shift the burden from students and families to the state.
Caret wants funding to be split 50/50; half from tuition dollars, half from the state.
"What would you do if you were governor?" asked Ross Balut of Belchertown. "You can't please everybody, not with the money the way it is. The economy gets better and tax revenues come up, you know with sales tax and things like that… things will loosen up a little bit. In the meantime, it's crunch time."
Caret says state funding has dropped by nearly half in the last 20 years.