When it came time to choose a college, I had researched and researched and visited and visited and thought long and hard about what I wanted—and focused on all the wrong things.

The process of matching yourself to a school is different for everyone, and I’m no expert. But I’ve been through it a few times now, with myself, my friends, my sister, and her friends, and we all made a lot of the same mistakes. So, whether you’re compiling an initial list or making a final choice, here are some tips from someone who’s been there before.

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