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Ask Coach Taylor – What is the Difference Between Official Visits and Unofficial Visits

Coach Taylor- What is the difference between official visits and unofficial visits?

An Official visit is paid for by the college, an unofficial is paid for by the family.  On an official visit, the NCAA allows a school to pay for lodging, transportation, meals, and entertainment.  So that includes airfare, rental car, and 3 meals a day.  The school is NOT allowed to pay for your parents. If you stay overnight with a member of the team on campus, the coach may not pay for your parents hotel.  On an unofficial visit, a coach is able to provide tickets to 3 sporting events under $100, transportation to an off-site venue, and the student-athlete may stay overnight with a team member.   Official visits cannot be made until the opening day of class senior year.  

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You can also get your questions answered directly by contacting a the NCSA Recruiting Hotline at 866-579-6272.

About the author
Aaron Sorenson


  • question #1; do you have to be NCAA eligible before you can get an official visit? what are the guidelines before you can take an official visit?

    question #2: do you need to be NCAA eligible before you can sign a National LOI?

  • JRey-

    You don’t have to be eligible to take an official visit. Most won’t be because they haven’t completed their senior year of high school.

    To take an official visit you have to have an unofficial transcript, a PSAT, PLAN, SAT or ACT test score and be registerd with the NCAA Initial Eligibility Center. The university will need these as well and may even ask for the completion of an amateurism form.

    Again, no because most still won’t have completed their senior year of high school. If a prospect doesn’t qualify the NLI becomes void.

    Check out this link-

  • Mary-

    They need a reason to go there. A prospect is that reason.

    Get the word out to coaches at colleges you’re interested in but know what level the prospect can play so you get the right coaches to come.

    Good luck!

  • A Division 1 school would like me to come on an official visit, and after sending him my transcripts and scores, he responded “The next step is for you to tell me when you will be arriving on campus so that we can meet”. From this I gathered that he means I am making the travel arrangements, but the school I am visiting is half way across the country and is Division 1. Does this mean the school is not paying for my transportation to the school even though it’s an official visit?


  • Get the coach back on the phone and ask him specifically. If the coach wants you to come on an official visit they’d be helping you make travel plans because they’re paying.

    Communication is key, never guess what a coach means!!

  • Just wanted to let you know that it was in fact an official visit, but for some reason this Divison 1 School doesn’t offer funds for the transportation for the Official Visit unfortunately. I had assumed all Division 1 programs paid for the transportation but apparently some do not.

    Thanks again