The College Search
One of the most important lessons to be learned in this process is finding out who you are, what you value, what you know, and what you believe. These investigations are at the center of your education, and indeed, they should remain central throughout your life. Therefore, probing these questions at the beginning of the college process is a necessary component to your search. There are more than 1500 four-year colleges and universities in the United States alone, so you are in the enviable position of being able to create a list of colleges that suit you. Don’t put the cart before the horse and choose a list of colleges for reasons that have little to do with your own needs—i.e., your parents went there, they have a great football team, Princeton Review said it was a "hot school." These may indeed become factors in your decision down the line, but first you need to assess your own reasons for choosing a college.
The following questions are intended to guide you in making this self-assessment, and discussing the answers with your parents, teachers, college counselor and mentors will help you to match your talents, needs and abilities with the right college. Everyone is different, and there is no magic formula to selecting the right college. Before you start picking schools, however, put serious consideration into the following: