What to Expect on an Official College Visit

You have been invited to go on an official college visit. After the initial excitement over the invitation dissipates a bit, you begin to wonder what this all entails. You may be thinking, “What does official mean? What can I expect to take place during this type of visit?” An “official college visit” refers to athletic recruiting by a school.

This extended invitation means that the college or university is so impressed with your athletic abilities that they are willing to pay for you to visit the college to try to get you interested in coming to their school and playing on their team. This can be at a school of any division. The difference is that there are a maximum of 5 official visits a student-athlete can attend for in Division 1. For Division 2 and 3, the number of visits are unlimited.

What Is Meant by “Paying” for Your Visit

When a college invites you on an official visit, they are paying for your:
• Travel
• Accommodations
• Meals

It is important to note that typically the school is paying for your expenses related to this visit – not the expenses of your parents, family or other person accompanying you on, or bringing you to, the visit.

What Transpires During the Visit

Each school has its own official visit protocol, but you can expect to potentially:

• Meet with the coaching staff
• Meet the team
• Tour the athletic facilities
• Attend one of the practices
• Tour the campus
• Eat in the cafeteria
• Join in a social event
• Interact with one or more members of the team who may show you around the school
• Eat a meal with the team
• Spend the night in one of the player’s rooms

Do You Need to Be Extended an Official Visit to Be Recruited?

No, you can be recruited by a school – even a DI school – even if you don’t go on an official visit. This happens all of the time.

Can I Go on More than One Official Visit?

Yes, you can go on multiple official visits. But, you can only have an official visit with a college once, and you can only have five official visits to DI schools. There is no limit on the number of official visits to DII or DIII schools or for unofficial visits (where travel, lodging and meals are not paid for).

The purpose of an official visit is to get to know the school, coaching staff and team better so you will consider the school during your college search decision. So, you can expect a good deal of engagement during your time there. What makes a visit official is that the college is paying for the expenses associated with your visit.

So, being deferred just means that the decision on your admission is going to be considered again along with the regular decision applications.

Looking for help with the college search and application process? We help students and families through the entire college planning journey – from search, applications and essays to interview prep, financial aid consultation and final school selection.

Contact us at info@signaturecollegecounseling.com or by phone, 845.551.6946. We work with students in person, through Zoom, over the phone, and by email.