The Oklahoma State System of Higher Education was created in 1941 by a vote of the people that amended the state's constitution to provide for such a system.
The state system is comprised of 25 colleges and universities – including two research universities, 10 regional universities, one public liberal arts university and 12 community colleges – and 11 constituent agencies and two university centers. The State System is coordinated by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, and each institution is governed by a board of regents.
The State Regents prescribe academic standards of higher education, determine functions and courses of study at state colleges and universities, grant degrees, and approve each public college's and university's allocations, as well as tuition and fees within the limits set by the Oklahoma Legislature.
The State Regents also manage scholarships and special programs. In addition, in cooperation with the Office of State Finance, the State Regents operate OneNet, the state's most advanced technology network. The Regents also operate the Oklahoma College Assistance Program, which provides college access, aid awareness, financial literacy and student loan management programs and services for students and parents.
While the State Regents is the coordinating board of control for all institutions in the State System of Higher Education, governing boards of regents and boards of trustees are responsible for the operation and management of each State System institution or higher education program.