One form of research, if your time and budget permits, is visiting the schools themselves. You can arrange to spend the night in a dorm if classes are in session in order to get a feel for what an average day on campus might be.
But what if you can't go visit?
Individual University and College Websites
There is going to be a lot of information on there. There are three main pages I suggest you look at initially: Degree Programs (Majors), Financial Aid, and Campus Life (Student Life). This gives you a sense if they have majors you are possibly interested in, money available to students based on merit or need, and some of the extracurricular activities hosted on campus.
It's also a good idea to take a look at tuition, the size of the school, the number of students, and the teacher to student ratio.
US News - Education
US News is a fantastic resource for college information, providing rankings for schools based on a number of criteria. "Best Undergraduate Business Programs" lets you know that the University of Pennsylvania has the number one program, followed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
There are also rankings for schools by national standing, liberal arts programs, regional schools, best value, and the best schools for "B students," among others.
"Chance Me" is another feature where registered users can plug in their data and get students to weigh in on their chances for getting into the school(s) of their choice. A word of caution: these are other students evaluating you. The admissions office has the ultimate say.
There is also a separate forum for aspiring graduate students, or those seeking admission to medical school, law school, and business school.
Research Now to Save Time Later
If you would like assistance with researching and applying to schools of interest, as always, feel free to contact me or leave a comment.