By: Natalie Pedersen
The summer is a great time to take unofficial visits to college campuses since student-athletes are out of school and have more free time for travel. The only downfall is that school is out of session for the college as well so you won’t get a true feel for how booming the campus is during the year.
Just remember, if you like one campus a lot, you can always visit it again during the school year and when your sport is in season. Many student-athletes don’t realize they can take unofficial visits to college campuses at any time throughout their high school career, freshman through senior year. In fact, you should be taking several unofficial visits every year throughout your high school career. Then, as you begin to narrow down your list of choices, you can always visit a campus again if need be, or, you might be offered an official visit.
So, what is an unofficial visit?
An unofficial visit is any visit to a college or university campus that is not funded by the institution. Unofficial visits have no NCAA restrictions on when high school athletes can unofficially visit a college, which is why it’s a great idea to start early.
During an unofficial visit:
- Take a tour of the college campus
This is important so you get a feel for the campus that you could potentially be calling home for four years during your college life.
- Meet with the coaching staff
Be ready to ask and answer questions! Come prepared with knowledge about the athletic program and a list of questions you have for the coach. This will show you’re interested in the program and that you are responsible.
- Try to talk to some of the players
If possible, talk to some of the athletes and find out how they like the college, the coach and each other. Some of these student-athletes could be your future teammates, and you want to get a sense of how they get along with each other and their coaching staff.
- Attend a game or practice if possible
This may be hard during the summer, but if the team is still on-campus, you could try to attend a team workout. If you take visits during the school year, then use this time to evaluate the coaches and the competition level of that program.
If you have any more questions about visits, check the NCAA Guide for the College-Bound Student-Athlete.