According to the NCAA, an official visit is when a prospective student-athlete visits a college campus paid for by the school. This includes travel/transportation to and from the school, room, meals, and entertainment expenses (three admissions to a home game). However, the school is not allowed to pay for your parents’ visit too. All expenses are for the student-athlete. Prospective student-athletes are only allowed to take five official visits total to different colleges.
Official visits occur during a student-athlete’s senior year. If a coach hasn’t offered you an official visit, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t interested, but you should always discuss this with the coach before you take a trip on your own there. Some schools don’t have large enough recruiting budgets to host many prospective athletes.
If you can afford it on your own (an unofficial visit), making a visit to the school is an important part of choosing what college you want to attend. As long as you have open communication with the college coach, you should know whether making a visit to the school will be beneficial to you and to the coach.