There are a large number of colleges and universities across the country, and each of them has many factors that make them distinct from the others. Some have large, sprawling campuses while others are smaller and more contained. You may thrive in a crowded campus full of people to meet, or you may be more comfortable sticking to a small group of people. Several students prefer studying in the cold weather, but you may prefer the warmth and sunlight. Whatever your preferences may be, these conditions and more are important factors to consider when picking colleges to apply to.
Remember, your college of choice is the place that you will be spending a lot of time for the next four years, so you have to make sure that it is both comfortable for you and geared towards giving you the best academic outcomes possible. This goes beyond the temperature and your social life. Take a look at how classes are presented in each school. If you know that you learn better working one-on-one with a teacher instead of sitting in a crowded lecture room, a school that is full of lecture rooms would not be the best choice. Furthering your education and picking a future career is ultimately the goal of college, so always keep that goal as your main priority.
There is no better way to understand if a college is right for you than to see it for yourself. A campus tour not only gives you an in-depth at the campus and the programs it offers, but also gives you a good picture of the community on that campus. Keep an eye out for how everyone interacts with one another. Often, the students and staff in a school can be the biggest factor in whether you enjoy attending it or not.
Of course, money is always a massive influence on your final decision, but remember that financial aid programs and scholarships can take a large portion of that weight off of your shoulders. As such, it is important to do your research on the various financial aid options the school in question offers and see which ones you can take advantage of. Make sure your FAFSA form is completed so there are no obstacles standing in your way. Students received over 238 billion dollars in student aid during the 2016-17 school year, so never assume that help is out of your reach.
Ultimately, only you can decide which college is right for you and what you want to study while there. Think carefully when you are making your list of schools to apply to, and be sure that you are choosing the most productive learning environment possible based on how you work best.