Be sure to visit the campus while school is in session: attend classes, have lunch with students, and even spend the night. It is important to understand all aspects of the environment you are getting yourself into.
Make sure you visit the campus before you enroll, to make sure you can stand living in such an environment. Do scope out potential extracurricular activities and clubs you can join when you attend the school.
Do not rule out private schools just because they are more expensive. Many private schools are finally trying to eliminate or reduce student loans and increase scholarship opportunities.
Visit! More than once! Take your parents with you and LISTEN to what they think. They know you better then you think and having a second opinion is definitely necessary.
Trust yourself. You know what the right school for you is. Don't think about where you want to go the most, think about where you'll regret most not going.
Allow the student to take time and look introspectively. Think about what type of student they are and in what environment they learn best.
Look for a college that fits your personal qualities and you academic expectations. Always visit the campus before accepting.
visit the college, see how happy students are, and remember, an elitist instutition is not necessarily a better one!
visit the college and talk to students there, as well as professors, in the areas you are most interested in!
Research, research, research.. and spend the night there and audit a couple of classes.