“I think it says a lot about the value of a University of Florida education. UF alumni in the Panhandle should be proud.”

If local University of Florida alumni seem a little puffed up today, blame it on Schools.com.

The online educational resource released its rankings of the best four-year colleges and universities in the state on Tuesday, and the Gators came out on top. In addition, the university earned the No. 5 spot on the nationwide list, beating out 1,649 colleges and universities across the country.

Graduates of the University of West Florida have a lot to be proud of, too. According to the Schools.com ranking, UWF came in fourth, beating out such powerhouses as the University of Central Florida, Florida Atlantic University, and — say it isn’t so, Seminoles — Florida State University, which came it near the bottom of the list in ninth place.

According to a Schools.com press release, each school was scored on a 100-point scale using the most recent data available from government sources and based on metrics such as tuition and fees, number of degrees and certificates offered, flexibility, student services, student loan rates and rates of student graduation, retention and transfer.

The rankings didn’t surprise Niceville resident Tim Parsons, an alumnus of both the University of Florida and the University of West Florida.

“I’m not shocked at all by either finding,” Parsons said. “I’m certainly biased, but Florida has always been a highly ranked university. And a lot of our local leaders and business owners are products of UWF. They have a lot of high-caliber people among their alumni.”

Steve Orlando, a spokesman for the University of Florida, called the rankings “great news.”

“I think it says a lot about the value of a University of Florida education,” he said. “UF alumni in the Panhandle should be proud.”

Calls to Florida State University were not immediately returned.

The top 10 schools on the Schools.com rankings are: 1. University of Florida; 2. University of South Florida-Main Campus; 3. Florida International University; 4. The University of West Florida; 5. University of Central Florida; 6. New College of Florida; 7. Florida Atlantic University; 8. University of North Florida; 9. Florida State University; 10. University of South Florida-St. Petersburg.

For more information on the rankings, visit www.schools.com/online-colleges/florida.