UF proved that it is the best university in Florida, according to Forbes Magazine.

UF was ranked the highest among Florida universities in the magazine’s 2012 list of America’s Best Colleges.

UF ranked 80 nationally, beating the University of Miami, the next-highest ranked Florida school, by 52 slots.

This is the best the university has done in the last four years. Last year, UF ranked 137 and in 2010 it ranked 93.

University spokesman Steve Orlando said he couldn’t explain why the ranking jumped, but it’s based on results and not reputation.

“The best and brightest students throughout Florida are choosing UF for what we have to offer them,” he said.

Topping the 650-institution list was Princeton University, followed by Williams College.

The rankings are prepared by the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, and are based on five categories: post-graduate success, student satisfaction, debt, four-year graduation rate and academic success.

Orlando said UF shows up in a lot of rankings and it’s hard to know which are reliable. UF researchers analyzed Forbes’ methodology.

“It seems to have credibility,” he said.

Contact Samantha Shavell at [email protected].

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