NCSA

Your Official Recruiting Visit Checklist

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What is an official visit?

An official visit is a planned visit to a college campus between a recruit and coach in which any part of the visit is financed by the school (i.e. travel costs, meals, accommodations). If a coach invites you to campus for an official visit, this likely means you’re one of their top recruits. This is a huge step on your recruiting journey, so it’s important to prepare in advance.

Before you go on your first visit, make sure you understand the NCAA rules around official visits and when your sport is allowed to start visiting campuses officially. Softball recruits can begin taking official visits starting September 1 before your junior year of high school.

Official Visit Checklist

Before your first official visit, you should complete the following checklist items to ensure you’ve covered all your bases:

  1. Register with the NCAA Eligibility Center. Let college coaches know that you are eligible to compete at their school by registering with the NCAA Eligibility Center no later than your sophomore year of high school. After you register, you’ll receive an NCAA ID number. Write this number down, because many coaches will ask you for this before your official visit.

    For recruits interested in Division I and Division II schools, you’ll need to get a Certification Account. There is a fee involved with registering for a Certification Account, so make sure that your parent/guardian is with you as you sign up. If you’re visiting a Division III school, sign up for an NCAA Profile page, which is the free version of the Certification Account.
  1. Have the coach add you to the Institutional Request List. Asking the coach to add you to the IRL list will put your Eligibility Center application on a fast track to get cleared. Because the NCAA receives so many requests through its Eligibility Center, the Institutional Request List serves to make sure athletes who need to be cleared quickly will be.
  2. Send the admissions office your transcript and a standardized test score. It’s true that schools will be able to access your transcript and test scores, if you’ve registered with the Eligibility Center. But the NCAA Eligibility Center only ensures that you’ve met the academic requirements mandated by the NCAA to compete in college sports.  By sending the school these items directly, it helps the admissions office ensure that your academic criteria are up to the standards of that school.
  3. Know how you will respond if you receive an offer. While it’s not guaranteed, some coaches will make you an offer during official visits. It’s important to go into your official visit with a game plan for how you will respond. If you’ve already made official visits to other schools on your list and this is your top school, it might make sense to say yes as soon as possible. However, if you have other schools on your list, you can ask the coach to give you a deadline for your response.
  4. Put together your list of questions for the coach. Always come prepared with a list of questions to ask during your official visit. This is your chance to get all your questions answered, so take advantage of this opportunity. Prior to your visit, sit down with your parents and write down your questions for the coach. Bring the list with you so you don’t forget an important topic and you can impress the coach with your preparedness.