Does anyone have any suggestions as to where to start this whole process?
Does your school have a guidance counselor? This is why they are way over paid. Make her earn her beans-n-rice.
What is your career goal? What will be your major in school? What do you want to get from college? Have you considered the service academies? You can go for the first two years on Uncle's dime and not owe anything. You also get an allowance and can always go to another school afterwards if it isn't your thing.
Pick your top three colleges and submit an application. Follow all of the guidelines on their website. Ask a guidance counselor to review everything before you submit.
As the year progresses, you might decide on another school - send an application. Good Luck!
Have you visited any of the campuses of the schools that comprise your top choices? That could make your decision a lot easier, and save you cash for the application fees of the other schools.
If you don't care about application fees, then go to the universities web sites and search for their applications. You can find the schools by Googling them, but just look for .edu links to get the official sites. Follow the application instructions thoroughly (and to excess with your documentation, as it's better to include more than you need than not enough).
Also, talk to your guidance counselor, previous instructors and coaches (etc.; superiors) about writing recommendation letters on your behalf for college entry. These letters could add depth to you character beyond your high school transcript, creating a more complete picture of you as a potential student.
I hope this helps.
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