As much as teens need a break from the early morning risings and pressures of homework and projects, they can't shove thoughts of college too far back. Summer is a great time to think about schools and what kind of place might make sense.
Here's an overview, particularly geared to juniors. From thinking about which colleges to visit to mapping out a testing schedule. After all, do you really want to take SATs at the same time you're taking AP and subject tests?
The truth is, I can't remember when I started thinking seriously about colleges. But there was enough time to visit a number of colleges. And that, as the article above points out, is really important. The more contact with the school, the better.
You can also follow my thoughts on admissions on NJ.com.