I have done that as well. I researched all the culinary colleges in the United States and found my daughters best options. She now has a four year plan mapped out after she graduates including studying abroad. I love her plan.
My oldest used to do that when she was homeschooling. Then she went to high school (public school) and seems to have lost all interest in doing so. She plans to go to a local college to get an associates degree. She says she will decide on what to do later on.
My daughter is going into 4th...and yup I have lol. I don't mean to crush her dreams entirely of being an artist, but I'm trying to push her towards other things that are higher on her instrests list, and showing her practical application to what she can do with those interests. I haven't been picking out colleges per se, but looking into different degree options for her to think about. We'll be looking more closely closer to when she nears high school...
Oh yeah. Collegeboard.org is awesome. DD has expressed interest in astrophysics, so I've been helping her research universities with solid reputations for physics and astronomy programs. She's done a lot of the research on her own, it's just that I have a different way of drilling down, so sometimes I find other options.