Located on the northeastern coast of the United States, Connecticut is known as the Constitutional State because it was the first colony in America to adopt a constitution. Popularly known as the Nutmeg State, it is the 30th most populous state in the country. The state has 19 public colleges and universities, including the University of Connecticut and its nine campuses, Central Connecticut State University, and Southern Connecticut State University. It also has five hospital-based schools and more than 50 private occupational schools. The Connecticut Office of Higher Education is responsible for overseeing private occupational schools, administering state financial aid programs, and licensing and accrediting independent colleges and universities. It also operates an international exchange program, a teacher quality partnership grant program, and a program for alternate routes to teacher certification. Additionally, it approves schools for GI Bill and veterans’ education benefits.