A. Buy one of those big fat phone-book-sized guides to 4-year colleges. Which one? It doesn't matter.
B. Get a bunch of the kids together. We had summer family-reunion access to our own kids and a bunch of cousins, which was perfect -- the more kids the faster the whole choosing process goes.
B and a 1/2. You might want to start after the adults have had cocktails. This can get rowdy, but the overall mood should be somewhat respectful, complete with hushed moments just before results are announced for each kid.
C. Someone calls a kid's name. That kid comes forward. An adult starts letting the pages slip through his/her fingers and tells the kid to shout out, "Stop."
D. Once the kid calls stop, the adult opens to that page. The kid can pick any school on that page. (What if there's only the second half of an entry? We allow that the child can back track only to include that one school. But this is a slippery slope and each to their own.)
E. The kid picks and THAT is the college/university that child will attend.
Results may vary. I mean, sure, Phoebe is going to an evangelical bible college in Texas, but our cousin Grace is going to a pretty sweet university in the New York system.
So far, this seems like the most reasonable way to pursue higher education decisions.
P.S. I suggest keeping a written record; memories can be faulty.