Thank you for everything you do for those of us who are trying to navigate the recruiting maze with our daughters. Your website and book are great.
I'll try to keep this pretty short and to the point. Generally speaking, does a PSA need to set foot on campus (i.e., unofficial visit, camp, etc.) to get a scholarship offer? It seems that coaches like to make offers in person.
You've been perfectly clear over the years about your opinion on the role of camps in the recruiting process. And also about how unofficial visits have become the new official visits. Once those invitations start rolling in some families realize that they simply don't have the resources to visit the campus of every school where there is mutual interest. I think most families would want to visit before making a final decision between schools that have offered, but that's very different than visiting in the hope that an offer might follow. Do coaches ever make offers over the phone?
It does seem as if the offer of a scholarship is made on a campus visit, as opposed to over the phone. Usually the college coach has a rather good idea about a player's personality, and a complete evaluation of the player's skill sets; the campus visit is just the opportunity for one last 'get to know you' before extending the scholarship offer.
There may be situations where a scholarship is not offered during a visit, because the college coach may have multiple visits in a short amount of time, and is determining which player will be offered - In these situations, the scholarship offer will come over the phone.
While there may be the spectre of a scholarship offer hanging over a PSA/family during a visit, the PSA/family must focus on evaluating the college program and school. If an offer is made, then that is just the icing, but the motivation for the trip should be to determine if this could be a PSA's home the next few years.
Because the unofficial visit expenses must be borne by the family, they must be selective about what schools they visit - Selective in not only making sure that the school is a good fit academically/athletically/
socially, but also that the program has that player as one of their top 2 recruits. Too often, a college coach/program will accept players coming to visit, knowing that they are the bottom of the recruiting potential offer list - They won't tell their #4 recruit to not visit, because if they are over reaching with recruits #1-2, they may need #4 to commit later in the process. But, it is realistic they will actually get to the point of offering #4? That is not a given and the family has now used precious time/money to make that visit.