Major - What would you like to major in? Check out the top schools that offer that major.
Distance - Do you want to stay close to home, drivable, or far away? Consider out of state tuition.
$$ - Know your budget and this will help weed out options over your budget.
Size - I recommend visiting the colleges if you can. This may help you decide whether you want to attend a larger school or smaller school. There are pros & cons for both. Larger schools tend to have larger and focus a lot on organizations and sporting events. Smaller schools most likely will have smaller class sizes and easier accessibility to professor hours.
It really does not matter what school you attend, as the most important factors are how well you do with the school work, which is an indication to an employer about what kind of employee you will be, and the effort that you put forth in your networking to set up networking connections that will help you throughout your education/career journey. Here is an important video for you to watch: ## http://www.ted.com/talks/julie_lythcott_haims_how_to_raise_successful_kids_without_over_parenting?utm_campaign=social&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_content=talk&utm_term=education ##
Here are some good ways to reduce costs in college:
What really matters is how well you get to know yourself to determine which might be a suitable career area for you based upon your personality traits and then talking to people face to face in person who are doing what you thing that you want to do to see what the do, how they got there, and what advice they have for you.
Getting to know yourself and how your personality traits relate to people involved in various career opportunities is very important in your decision making process. During my many years in Human Resources and College Recruiting, I ran across too many students who had skipped this very important step and ended up in a job situation which for which they were not well suited. Selecting a career area is like buying a pair of shoes. First you have to be properly fitted for the correct size, and then you need to try on and walk in the various shoe options to determine which is fits the best and is most comfortable for you to wear. Following are some important steps which I developed during my career which have been helpful to many .
Ken recommends the following next steps:
1. Size of school may be important to some , whether you want smaller school with small class sizes or larger schools with big sporting events.
2. Location - how far you may want to be from home and whether you want more of a closed campus or a school in a city which is a more open campus.
3. Major - do you have a area you are really interested in then find schools with that concentration. If you are not sure, that is fine too, many student explore or change their majors in college.
4. Demographics - you may like to check out how diverse the student population is if that is important to you.
5. Activities - If you are interested in any sports that you would like to play in college , it may also help narrow down the list of colleges, or if you have other activity interests, like joining a sorority or fraternity, make sure the colleges on your list have the activities you enjoy and would like to participate in.
6. Financial fit- Discuss with your parents on what is your budget and look at schools that may provide aid or meets your needs financially
Best of luck, there are so many good colleges out there. There is a college for everyone.