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When should I start looking for a college?

QUESTION: I am a high school freshman. When should I start looking for a college? Signed, Planning Ahead

Dear Planning Ahead: Since you practically just arrived at high school, you may think that the end is far from near. Four years is a long time, but you'll be surprised at how quickly it becomes time for you to make the transition from high school to college. This means that the best time to start looking at colleges is now.

We don't mean that you should immediately jump in a car and head across the country to explore colleges, but now is an appropriate time to start considering colleges. Visit local schools to get a sense of what to expect and what it feels like to be on a college campus. If your family vacations take you close to any college, take advantage by taking a tour. Speak with current college students about their experiences. Most importantly, focus on challenging yourself in your classes and doing the best that you can.

It's not difficult to get started looking for a college, and when it does come time for you to make a decision, you'll appreciate the head start you got.

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Gen & Kelly Tanabe

Gen and Kelly Tanabe are the founders of SuperCollege and the award-winning authors of 11 books on college admission, financial aid and scholarships. Together they were accepted to all of the Ivy League colleges and won more than $100,000 in merit-based scholarships to graduate from Harvard debt-free.