Arkansas, also known as the Natural State, is the 32nd most-populous state in the United States and is home to part of the Ozarks and the Ouachita Mountains. The state has 11 four-year, public institutions of higher learning, including Arkansas State University and the University of Arkansas; 11 four-year independent colleges; and more than 20 two-year public colleges. These institutions serve more than 170,000 students throughout the state, including in Little Rock, Pine Bluff, Monticello, and Fort Smith. The Arkansas Department of Higher Education (ADHE) has a number of programs facilitate access to higher education for students. For example, the ADHE will receive a $65,000 grant from the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education to fund a study that will examine the barriers that make it difficult for adult learners to complete their degrees.