What to know about official and unofficial college recruiting visits

Since this is the time of year for athletes to visit college campuses I thought it good to share a few helpful tips about official visits and unofficial visit. In most recruiting situations the official visit often follow one or more unofficial visits. Frequently, college coaches reserve official visits to make offers, but it is not uncommon to get a verbal offer outside of an official visit. 

By definition, an official visit is any visit to a college campus by a college-bound prospective student-athlete and his or her parents that is paid for by the college. This includes transportation, lodging, entertainment, food and as many as 3 tickets to a game. Conversely, campus visits paid for by the parents of the student-athlete is deemed and unofficial visit.

In total, student-athletes are permitted up to 5 official visits for D1 and D2 schools. However, only 1 official visit per school is allowed.
Photo by Travis Essinger on Unsplash

Traditionally, official visits have been reserved for Seniors only. However, since April 2018 new recruiting regulations have been implemented for sports such as baseball and softball, allowing  Junior and Senior student-athletes to take official visits after September 1st. In contrast, in many other sports, such as footballonly Senior student-athletes are permitted to take official visits.

In total, student-athletes are permitted up to 5 official visits for D1 and D2 schools. However, only 1 official visit per school is allowed. Parents and athletes should know that D3 and NAIA schools have no limit on official visits a student-athlete can take. Additionally, D3 and NAIA regulations are similar to those outlining the recruiting process of D1 and D2 schools where the prospective student-athlete is allowed 1 official visit per school.

Lastly, always keep this in mind that recruiting is a process. Many student-athletes and parents let their minds run wild with negative assumptions, especially when an official visit is not offered right away.  To reiterate, recruiting is a process and every coach has his or her method, budget and preference for recruiting. So, with this in mind I recommend to keep a clear head and a positive attitude. Try to relax, stay calm, and enjoy the process.

Finally, I would love to hear from athletes attending official or unofficial visits. Athletes can also tag me on twitter when posting about visits (@michaelwoosley). Also, if you need help preparing for a visit, I’m glad to schedule some time to help with preparations. Just send me an email at mwoosley@csaprepstar.com. 

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