Where you should be by the summer before your 12th-grade year?
You should have a list of schools that interest you (aim for at least a dozen). You may be certain that you’re applying to some of the schools on this list, but you might not yet know a lot about others. You’ll need to begin solidifying this list as soon as school begins; by early October you should have a nucleus of schools that are interesting to you and that are reasonable for admission.
You will meet with your counselors just before summer begins and again in the fall, and you will receive guidance in the search process and review your progress to date. During the September to October period, you will likely be filling out applications to a few schools, making some visits, and receiving initial information from other schools.