The Maryland Higher Education Commission is a 12-member coordinating board responsible for establishing statewide policies for Maryland public and independent colleges, universities and private career schools. Located in Annapolis, Md., it works with public/private colleges and schools. The Maryland Higher Education Commission serves as an advocate for several college students, the state, business and industry in Maryland. The University System of Maryland houses distinctive/individual institutions, degree-granting campuses and service components. The facility also administers state financial aid programs that affect students on a statewide basis.