Choosing the college that matches your needs (and wants) can be a challenge, especially in the era of admissions scandals and runaway student debt.

The most important — and difficult — part of the decision is knowing where to look for information.

On Course provides guidance from school counselors, education consultants, students and colleges to help lead you through one of life’s biggest decisions.

Keep scrolling to view the wealth of stories included in the Spring 2019 edition of On Course, including tips for students on dealing with college debt, savvy hacks for getting deals on textbooks, a year-by-year college-prep guide and more.

Caroline Toombs (right), a 2018 graduate of Eastlake High School in Sammamish, meets her roommate, Chloe Downes, for the first time on the University of California, Santa Barbara campus. (Courtesy of Caroline Toombs)

The challenge: The ‘good-fit seekers’ are high school kids who may not know what they want to do next weekend let alone the next four years.

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Caleb Huffman at the Great Wall of China. (Courtesy of Caleb Huffman)

From a small Washington town to one of the world’s largest cities, Caleb Huffman is on a quest to connect with others.

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This spring, many high school seniors learn that, despite their best efforts, they did not get into their dream college.

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Most soft skills rely on what are conventionally perceived as communication abilities.

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Where did we veer so spectacularly off-course when it comes to the entire point of college?

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There is a common theme among personal essays with the best results.

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Nam Nguyen studied on seven continents and brought back inspiration.

University of Washington students use CLUE, the Center for Learning and Undergraduate Enrichment, which offers tutoring and learning support to undergraduates. (Courtesy of Bryan Nakata / University of Washington)

Puget Sound-area schools share strategies for dealing with common freshman woes.

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Research: Greatest gain comes from taking just one or two Advanced Placement classes and exams.

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A Cliff’sNotes version of the process, so parents and teens can both survive the experience with minimal emotional scarring.

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Students walk past Sather Gate on the University of California at Berkeley campus in Berkeley, California. Choosing a college based on price can save you from overwhelming student debt, give your parents a break and increase the likelihood of a return on investment in your education. (AP file photo by Ben Margot)

Among other things, it will give your parents a break.

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College students spend an estimated $1,200 on books and materials every school year.

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Paula Bishop is a Seattle-based CPA focused on financial aid and higher education.

How the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 affected exemptions, gifts and deductions.

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The University of Pittsburgh is offering graduating seniors up to $5,000 in federal student loan relief with one request: They pay it forward. (AP file photo by Keith Srakocic)

Using no-strings-attached student loan payoff-assistance programs, college loan alternatives and annual student debt letters, these three universities are doing their part to curb college debt.

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