Is that a good school?
It's the most common question, and the real answers are not found in rankings. Colleges, like just about anything else, can't be lumped into "good" and "bad" piles. High school students and families: why not approach this question in a way that will serve you best? After reviewing your personal profile (rigor, GPA, test scores if applicable, and extracurricular activities--check with me about requirements to more competitive majors at specific schools) to see if you are a match, start with this question:
"Is this a good school for me?"
Can your family comfortably afford this college, or will you need to take out loans that take many years to repay? Use the college's Net Price Calculator (aka EFC) to check.
Do you want to be able to get home easily? Establish how much location truly matters.
Does the college offer your major of choice? What are professors researching and/or publishing?
Are you set on a specific career above all else? What are the internship opportunities? Who are the alumni and what is their involvement with undergraduates? Which companies recruit at this college?
Undecided? Is there an exploratory program with a personal advisor who will help you find your path?
Do you perform best by connecting with my professors and peers in small classes?
What is the college's culture? Read the student newspaper to get a sense of what's happening on campus. I will connect you with current students and give insight to the level of Greek life at schools.
Do your own research or ask for my help. My best advice? Tune out the comments, laughs, and raised eyebrow reactions to colleges until you learn more about what makes a college good for you.