To find a college is a not a hard decision once you have discovered who you are as a person and what you want to achieve. I am not talking about knowing the exact field of study to go into, however, knowing if a college can help take you to where you want to go is important. Each school has somewhat of a reputation, and usually those reputations are correct.
Treat a college like you would treat choosing which friends to hang out with. If a person does not share your same views or value what you value, then there would be no reason to be friends with this person—no common grounds. It is the same as a college, if a schools views do no align with your school then don’t go there. There will be no success by subjugating oneself to a school that does not support your values and vice versa.
Finding the right fit takes hours and hours of research. Visiting every college that you apply for should be a priority. Books and the Internet can only give factual information about a school. When choosing a college you want to go beyond the facts. Seeing for yourself how students interact with each other on campus, how classes are conducted, and the accessibility to professors is important—and this only comes from campus tours.
A schools reputation is important to take into account, its more important for you to decide if that reputation is correct. A school the represents your views and offers exactly what you are looking for is the right choice. Success will only happen if you feel comfortable with the school of your choice. The right fit means the student body fits your personality, are the academics rigorous or relaxed (do you want to be challenged academically), and the political views of the school align with yours.