College coaches will likely ask if you'd like to visit the campus if they are seriously interested in recruiting you. You can make two types of visits to colleges: Unofficial and Official Visits. There are some important differences between the two and both signify different levels of interest, so be sure to communicate about visits with your coaches to develop a game-plan.
An unofficial visit is one that's paid for by you and your parents, not the school. You can take as many unofficial visits to college campuses as you'd like and the only thing the school can provide you and your family are three free tickets to a home sports event.
Unofficial visits are a great way for you to see the campus on your own terms and get a feel for what it's like to be a student at that particular school. Be sure to let college coaches know when you're planning to be on campus during your unofficial visits.
Making an official visit is a major milestone in the recruiting journey. If college coaches invite you for an official visit, it's a great sign they want you on their team. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind with regards to official visits:
- An official visit is defined as any visit made by a student-athlete and his/her parents that's paid for by the college.
- During official visits, colleges can pay for transportation to and from campus, lodging, three meals a day for you and your parents, and entertainment expenses including three tickets to a home sporting event.
- For NCAA DI and DII schools, you're allowed up to 5 official visits and can only take one visit per school.
- For NCAA DIII and NAIA schools, there is no limit on the number of official visits you can take, but you can only take one visit per school.
Again, talk to your coaches about where you'd like to visit and develop a game-plan for before, during, and after your visits.