The short answer to your question is NOW! Ideally, during your sophomore year of high school you should begin working on your career path and start researching the qualities that you are looking for in a college or university. Planning to finance your education should start at approximately the same time. This will give your family plenty of time to make any adjustments to the family’s finances to give you the best eligibility for financial aid. Don’t despair if you are already past your sophomore year – even seniors in their first semester can effectively choose a college and plan for financing an education but it will take a great deal of time and dedication in a relatively short period of time to do so. Your best plan is to start early!