Will you be doing lots of writing, graphics, programming, number crunching? What software will be required - software often has some minimal hardware specifications. Minimal is not recommended - go as high as you can.
Will you be carrying the laptop to your classes - e.g., weight and size will matter.
Best is relative. Work out your requirements and then look for laptops that meet those requirements. Then read reviews from independent sources. Visit the manufacturer's website and read the laptop's User Guide/Manual. Read the Forums, FAQ's, get a sense of how helpful the manufacturer will be (or will not be) if your laptop has a problem.
Check with the college and/or the Department in which you are majoring. They may have a list of applicable and recommended laptops. Maybe even have some discount purchase program available for new students.
For the most part you will need a rugged laptop that can endure being carried around, dropped, bumped, spilled on etc..
And do be sure to look into some insurance coverage that will help if the laptop is stolen or some other calamity occurs.
Your family's homeowner insurance might provide a rider that covers college related losses.