The second thing to think about is "Does it have my area of study?" You could find the perfect school on the beach surrounded by everything you could ever want in a college town, but what if you want to be a history major and it has a very weak history program? Chances are you are going to have to let that school go.
My advice when looking at schools is to look at their programs first before you fall in love with the campus.
Speaking of campus, how big do you want the campus to be? If you are like me, which you probably are not, I want a tiny campus with no more than 2,000 kids. I want the campus surrounded by a small town where everyone knows everyone.
However, more than half the kids at my school are looking at WVU because of the parties and the excitement. They want a huge campus with tons of people.
Maybe you fall in the middle. You might be one of the kids who is OK with a medium-sized school like Concord or West Virginia Wesleyan.
The last thing to think about and unfortunately one of the most important is tuition. You may have found the perfect school in terms of location, programs of study and campus size, but -- and this is a big but -- it might cost a small fortune to go there.
The first school I fell in love with had tuition of more than $30,000 a year, so I definitely had to let that one go. Then I started looking at schools that were around $5,000. I now have my dream school.
There are so many things to consider when picking a college, so if you are a freshman, sophomore or junior reading this, I wholeheartedly suggest you start looking now. If you find that you need help filtering through schools, there are numerous websites designed specifically for that. My personal favorites are www.CSNAV.org and www.zinch.com.