What to Look for on a College Visit

After taking four official college visits, my son, Nimari, committed to Texas Tech University! I couldn’t be happier with his decision. 

It was quite the experience to spend time on each campus but it was imperative for not only my son but for me to pay close attention to the academic structure. 

During each official visit, we met with the academic advisers and asked as many questions as possible. Some of the questions I asked were:

"How many in-classroom classes would my son be required to take?”

“If the school offered online classes, would the teachers or tutors be accessible to assist with school and homework?"

"Also, would the teachers or tutors travel with the team when they are away on the road for games?"

It’s vital for student/athletes to have a close-knit relationship with their advisers, teachers, and tutors. They are the driving force behind helping our young adults reach their academic goals and maintain their GPA.

The next important thing to look for on a official visit is the university’s facilities such as their equipment, recovery rooms (cryotheraphy, ice baths, massage rooms, and so forth). As a mother of an athlete who has played competitive basketball since the first grade, I know the importance of rest, recovery, and access to these much-needed facilities. 

Food facilities are also very important. My son has a huge appetite and a few dietary restrictions such as no beef, pork, and dairy. Therefore, I asked each school specific questions on how they would structure his meals. A few of the schools we visited had personal chefs that prepare meals tailored to each student-athlete. They also offered an array of various foods in the cafeteria where the students could choose. It’s all about options, and I made it my business to make sure the school we chose offered those options.  

Last but not least, here are the three most important things to look for on a official college visit and the most important questions for your student-athlete to ask are as follows:

  1. The coaching staff - How hard will the coach push your child? What are the coach's plans for your child? How invested is the coach in your child? Will the coach allow your child to make mistakes or will he snatch your child out the game immediately? Does the coach believe in your child’s talent and abilities? These are all the questions I candidly asked all the coaches, and I strongly suggest you do the same.

  2. Housing is very important. You want to view the campus and find out if the school has dorms or apartments. How many students will share a dorm or apartment? Who supervises the dorms/apartments? Are the apartments located on or off campus? 

  3. What is the culture of the team? How hard does the team work? How well does the team embrace your child? On one of the visits, sadly, one of the players didn’t acknowledge nor speak to my child. It’s very important to see how your child fits in and bonds with the team. Team chemistry is everything! Ultimately, that’s why we made our decision and chose Texas Tech University. We strongly believe it is the perfect fit for our son, and we are looking forward to his next chapter!

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