Official vs. Unofficial College Visits

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Whether official or unofficial, a trip on campus can be a recruiting game-changer. Here's how:

Unofficial Visits

Scheduling
These are on you, time-wise and money-wise. Start booking trips after your sophomore year. Notify the coach at least a month in advance of your impending trip. The NCAA does not impose restrictions on unofficial visits, so aim for five to eight trips.

What to expect
Schedule a campus tour and attend the school's information session to learn about admission requirements, academic standards and campus life. Try to schedule a meeting with the coach. Be prepared with questions and answers. Talk to as many people as you can.

Post-visit
Send a handwritten note thanking the coach for the opportunity to visit, and keep him or her up to date on your progress.

If you have time
Visit a school more than once. During a follow-up visit, sit in on a class, meet with current players and try to get a feel for the daily life of a student athlete.

Official Visits

Scheduling
The NCAA permits five official visits, starting the first day of your senior year of high school. Official visits are funded by the college and are by invitation only.

What to expect
A student host will entertain you during your visit and may take you to a football or basketball game. Official visits often lead to scholarship offers.

Post-visit
Send a handwritten note, and don't be afraid to ask coach where you stand on the recruiting board.

If you have time
Use all of your official visits, even if you've made a commitment or are close to choosing a particular school.


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