Higher education in Rhode Island is supported by several organizations. The Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education administers policies for the public higher education institutions in Rhode Island, including the University of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College, and Community College of Rhode Island. The Association of Independent Colleges & Universities of Rhode Island was founded in 1979 as the Rhode Island Independent Higher Education Association, and it works to support independent higher education in Rhode Island through advocacy and public policy. AICU Rhode Island serves Brown University, Bryant University, Johnson & Wales University, New England Institute of Technology, Providence College, Rhode Island School of Design, Roger William University, and Salve Regina University. The Rhode Island Higher Education Assistance Authority was established in 1977 to provide financial assistance to students to relieve the cost of higher education. RIHEAA awards more than 12,000 students with grants and scholarships each year.