This is shameful but I chose the college my best buddies went to. We rented a huge "animal" house and got real wild and crazy. I don't know how I managed to graduate but I did.
Now my 18-year-old daughter who just started college and is eons more mature than me at the same age, chose her college based upon scholarship money. She got one scholarship for $7,000 that she would not received if she had attended any other college. Some old rich guy who graduated from the same high school set it up for graduates of that high school, but only if they attend his college alma mater, which happens to have a building named after him on the grounds.
Smart girl. No student loans for her.