It is true that your planning for college begins four years before you pass out of school. You should become aware of your future educational plans as soon as you are in the ninth grade. It is time to think about your career choices. That will automatically steer you to the college of your choice.
You may be in the ninth grade but you still need a lot of help getting the information about the right college for you. At this stage parental help is of extreme importance. Your class teachers too will be glad to guide you. First you have to decide whether you are going to be a lawyer, doctor or engineer. Perhaps you are thinking of joining the army. Each career goal requires a special college education.
By the time you are in the tenth grade you will already be made aware of the need of high GPA scores and good grades. It is time to get serious in a good way. It is time to get focused and manage time instead of wasting it. You cannot achieve anything unless you practice for it. You will eventually have to tackle SAT and ACT. This is a good time to begin taking preliminary tests to clear these important exams in the future.
The internet is your friend and it offers the chance to begin researching about possible college. It is also the right time to enter school activities especially those that give you a chance to demonstrate your leadership qualities. These are appreciated by college admission teams.
Your learning process and preparation for college continues through the eleventh and twelfth grade. Looking at the Prospectus of a college is very different from actually visiting it. Start taking tours to colleges near your home town. Your work schedule should have taken you to a high level of performance in academic and sports activities by the time you are in the twelfth grade.
You will need letters from your school teachers for college. They will love to recommend you if you have been a good student. College is expensive and you have to explore all financial avenues. Apply to the maximum number of colleges to keep your options open. You will certainly get admission to a good college if you start planning for it at an early stage in school.