Education is very important, something that can literally change your life. It is very crucial that these choices be well-researched before they are made, as this is the only way that you can possibly make sense of the confusing world of education. There are so many choices and so many little details to consider that you will want to take a long time getting them all straight before making any decisions.
To choose the best school for you, you must consider your decision both in terms of academics and finances. Some schools will offer full scholarships, and if you are given that, you should very seriously think about accepting it, regardless of most other factors, as the expense of college leaves many people with a serious debt load. You should also look into what programs you want to take, and how different schools rank nationally in those programs. Finally, you should find a school with a lot of options. Many college freshmen decide to change their major by their second year, and you will want to have many other choices should this be the case for you. Specialized schools are best if you are dead-set on pursuing a certain major, with very little chance of wanting to change.
Another thing to consider when making smart education choices is how much money you can get to help you pay for your tuition, books and other costs. School is very expensive, but there are many different outlets for financial aid. Scholarships can be applied for in nearly all fields. Grants can be applied for from the government or from private institutions. You can uphold certain academic standards to get the price of tuition reduced. It is important to get as much financial aid as possible -- the less student loan money you have to pay back after graduation, the less stressful your post-college job search will be.