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Where do I start with choosing a college?

QUESTION: There are so many colleges to choose from. How do I find the one for me? I don't even know which state I want to go to; therefore, I can't even begin my search. Help! Signed, Overwhelmed

Dear Overwhelmed: Sometimes when you have too many options, making a decision can be overwhelming. This happens to many students since there are thousands of colleges in the country.

But instead of focusing on all of the choices available, try focusing on yourself instead. What do you want to get out of your college education? What field do you want to study? What career goals do you have? What kind of social atmosphere would you like? Would you like to attend school close to home or far away?

Once you've answered these questions, you can start narrowing down your choices. To further narrow down your choices, look at the brochures the colleges send you and their Web sites, speak with students at the schools and visit campuses. But remember that your goal is to look at yourself first and figure out what you want and then find colleges that match your goals.

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Gen & Kelly Tanabe

Gen and Kelly Tanabe are the founders of SuperCollege and the award-winning authors of 11 books on college admission, financial aid and scholarships. Together they were accepted to all of the Ivy League colleges and won more than $100,000 in merit-based scholarships to graduate from Harvard debt-free.