Think about your major. Some schools have an amazing English department but a terrible physics department.
Think about what part of the country you want to live in (sunny, rainy, hot, cold).
Think about the size of college you want. Huge can be overwhelming, or liberating, like living in a small city.
Talk to everybody about the best book to buy that has a summary of every college.
Try to get into the most competitive college you can, but relax about it.
Start the process long before you have to so the whole process is fun and relaxing.
Choose several colleges to look at closely. But you DO NOT have to examine every college in the country. That would be crazy.
And trust your own judgement. The criteria that matter to you, matter to you. If you are happy there, you will do well. If you're unhappy, that can be a distraction. So find the place that makes you happy, for whatever reason!
Remember: Don't be discouraged by tuition. If you are very poor, the school will give you all kinds of financial aid.
I knew someone who's parents disinherited him! And the very expensive school he applied to bent over backwards to help him be able to afford to go there, and he did, with no problem. :)