Arizona State also has the highest student loan default rate in the nation.

The AZ Central reports.

Arizona’s college graduation rate is lowest in nation

WASHINGTON – Arizona tied Alaska for the lowest college completion rate in the country in 2013, with just 29 percent of students able to earn a four-year degree in six years or less, a new report says.

The report released Monday by the U.S. Department of Education also said Arizona posted the highest student loan default rate in the country, at 18 percent, compared with a national average of 11 percent.

State education officials cautioned Monday that the statistics could be skewed by large numbers of students in other states who are getting degrees online from for-profit schools based in Arizona.

But U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Monday that states with higher default rates tend to have lower graduation rates and that the problem has to be addressed. Just as the cost of college is higher than ever, he said, a post-secondary credential has never been more important.