Eight of the nine Massachusetts State Universities have increased their annual fees by an average of 6 percent, according to the Boston Globe. University officials defended the fee increases, saying that decreases in state funding left them with no other choice. The increases are keeping with state trends, as fees at state universities have more than tripled in the past decade, according to the state Department of Higher Education. Fee increases are not a state-only problem. The separate 5-campus UMass system has also increased fees by 4.9 percent, according to the Globe. College Affordability advocates said that the combination of Umass and state university fee increases will add to the financial burden for students from low-income families and those who are paying their own way, the paper reported.