Unofficial visits are a frequent topic. It is important to ask yourself if it is worth the effort and if the student-athletes and their families will reap the benefits of ‘unofficial’ visits. Yes, the answer is yes. Unofficial visits are family visits to college campuses where the family pays for their own transportation and the college doesn’t reimburse or pay the family for any expenses.
* It shows that you are more than just interested in the school by taking an “unofficial visit”. It takes time to coordinate family schedules and to make a commitment that you will travel to the school and spend some of your day there. The family must also cover the cost of the trip. A coach will want to see this extra effort in any prospective student athlete. This helps you distinguish the tire-kickers and the serious buyers.
* A campus visit, whether official or informal, usually begins with a guided walk tour. This can last anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes depending on the number of participants and the size of the campus. The campus visit allows the athlete and their family to feel the energy of the campus as well as the students. Every school is unique. You will see most of the buildings. TIP: Bring a camera or another recording device to record the tour. Once you’ve been to a few places and it has been a while, the details tend to blur together.
You can also visit school during school hours. This allows you to see more than just empty buildings. You will be eating it for the next four years, so make sure you eat in our cafeteria. Talk to students in the cafeteria. You did the exact same thing they did a few years back. Ask about classes, weekend entertainment and support for athletic teams.
* Inform the coach you are going to be visiting campus on an “unofficial visit” and will be taking a tour. You should make an appointment to meet the coach at his/her office when you’re on campus. You will need to bring your College Prospects of America profile and coaches monthly update form. Also, you will need copies of your transcript and report card.
* Research is important before you go. Visit their website to learn more about the school. Visit their website to learn more about the team and how they performed in the past season. You can also learn about the coach, his/her background and record. Be an informed buyer Remember, you are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing yourself.
Ask the school if they are able to offer you a voucher or a waiver of the application fee after the tour is over. Many schools will waive the application fees if you plan to spend the time and money visiting their school.