PORTLAND — A U.S. Department of Education report puts the University of Southern Maine and Maine Maritime Academy among the most expensive public colleges for in-state students.

USM came in 23rd for four-year colleges with $18,177 a year in net costs, or the amount students paid after grants and scholarships. The report lists Maine Maritime 28th at $17,726.

School officials say they are trying to control costs. Maine Maritime President William Brennan tells the Portland Press Herald that (http://bit.ly/1lyIABW ) he wants to be able to help people attend the school.

A spokeswoman for USM says the school has had a tuition freeze for the past three years for in-state students and that students have received $4 million more in financial aid over four years.

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