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All About Unofficial Visits

University pennants blog

What is an unofficial visit?
Any visit to a college campus that is NOT paid for by the college. A few things to remember:

  • A school is able to provide tickets to 3 sporting events under $100

  • You may not take an official or unofficial visit during a dead period (link to Contact Periods section).

  • You are allowed an unlimited number of unofficial visits to schools at all divisions.

  • You may stay overnight on campus during an unofficial visit.

When can I take an unofficial visit?
Any time, including freshman year.

What will happen during my unofficial visit?
Every unofficial visit is different and a lot depends on whether or not the coach has seen you play before the visit takes place. Typically, a coach will talk to you and your parents about their institution and athletic program and they will give you a brief tour of the athletic facilities.

Can a coach offer me a scholarship during an unofficial visit?
If a coach has seen you play, they may give you an indication of their level of interest. Recruits occasionally receive verbal scholarship offers on unofficial visits.

Are there specific questions I should ask a coach on an unofficial visit?
If you know a coach has seen you play, you should ask them where you stand on their recruiting list. Ask where they will be recruiting (camps, combines, tournaments, etc.) so you can hopefully coordinate a time for them to watch you play. Otherwise, refer to the questions section and choose a few that apply to you and that school.

Football coach

How do I schedule an unofficial visit?
Contact the coach and inform him or her that you would like to schedule an unofficial visit. Coaches will usually be very receptive. Sometimes a coach will ask you to set up a visit yourself.

How do I prepare for an unofficial visit?
If you have video available, make sure the coach has viewed it prior to the visit. Ask the coach if they recommend that you schedule an admissions interview while on campus. Bring a few copies of your NCSA Recruiting Profile and a prepared list of questions. Don’t forget to bring a pen and paper to take notes.

What should I wear?
Look presentable. You do not need to be in a dress or suit, but you do want to make a good impression on the coach. Do not wear athletic clothing on a visit. Look clean and presentable  - khaki pants or shorts, nice jeans, a sweater, casual dress or skirt or a button down shirt are all good options.

When should I schedule my visit?
As soon as you can! The best time to make visits during junior year is spring and summer. Remember that December and early January are often times when coaches are on winter vacation. Some coaches may be out of the office during the summer and coaches are often very busy during their season as well.

What is a game day visit?
Game day visits are typically unofficial and they provide student-athletes and their families with the opportunity to visit the campus and watch a game. Game day visits are most common in football recruiting, but can take place in other sports as well. Most football programs will offer game day visits to student-athletes on their recruiting list. Remember, the coaching staff will be busy preparing their team and as a result, recruits usually do not get much attention during a game day visit. Always follow up with a thank you note to the coach who invited you on the visit and/or any coaches you met with.

What happens during a game day visit?
Here is an example of a real game day visit itinerary from a Division I-A football program:

Hawks vs. Wildcats
Saturday, November 6, 2009

9:30 a.m.
Arrive at Game Day Center

Game Day Presentation
Recruiting – Bob Smith, Recruiting Coordinator

Tour the Hall of Legends

Walk to Smith Arena and experience the pre-game excitement

Address by John Jackson, Head Football Coach

Walk through the famous Hawk Tunnel

Pre-game warm-ups on the floor of Hawk Stadium

Kick-off – BEAT WILDCATS!!!!

Post Game
Prospects and their guests: Return to the tunnel entrance of Smith Arena. Visit with the Hawk coaches on the floor of Smith Arena; Home of Hawk Basketball.

Any questions, don’t hesitate to call Bob Smith, Recruiting Coordinator.

Due to NCAA regulations regarding an unofficial visit, you must pay for your own parking and lunch

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