When should I start looking at colleges?

Any time. Colleges and universities offer tours and information sessions at least once a day Monday-Friday and sometimes on Saturday. Students should check the college website for times and instructions for signing up. If students have not visited in 10th grade, I would encourage students and their parents to be diligent in visiting the junior year. Your goal by August 1 of the senior year is to have a short list of 4-8 colleges where the student is applying.

Start with local colleges and universities to develop a baseline of what you like: size, location (urban, suburban, and rural), majors, ambiance, extra-curricular activities, etc. Once the student has identified the type of college he/she believes fits, she/he can expand the search to colleges and universities in the preferred part of the U.S.    

Missy Sanchez CEP, LPC