Investments by universities in the United States rebounded last year, earning an average of about three percent.
Schools welcomed the news because they mostly lost money in the two previous years in the stock market slump.
But the National Association of College and University Business Officers says one good year is not enough to cover the losses for most colleges and universities.
The association says schools rely on investments to cover between five and 20 percent of their expenses.
The tight financial situation comes as some U.S. states are experiencing financial problems and have reduced contributions to colleges and universities.
As a result, college officials say they will be pressing alumni harder for donations, and they might raise fees.
Not all universities are suffering. Harvard University, the world's richest with a nearly $19 billion endowment, saw its investments increase more than 12 percent last year.
Some information for this report provided by AP.