What is the National Letter of Intent (NLI)?
Friday, October 26, 2012  |  In Recruiting Tips

What is the National Letter of Intent?

The National Letter of Intent (NLI) is a one-academic year binding agreement between a prospective student-athlete and an academic institution.  The student-athlete agrees to attend the academic institution for one-academic year and the institution agrees to provide athletic financial aid for one-academic year.

Why Should I Sign a National Letter of Intent?

The idea of the National Letter of Intent is to provide a sense of certainty to the recruiting process.  In effect, your recruiting process is over once you sign a NLI and other NLI member schools agree not to pursue a student-athlete who has signed an NLI with another member institution.  This allows a student-athlete to enjoy his or her senior year and not have the stress of dealing with making their college decision or worrying about scholarship offers.

Do all College Programs use the National Letter of Intent?

No. The National Letter of Intent is an optional service that can only used by schools that offer athletic financial aid.   Ivy League schools, NCAA Division III institutions, Service Academies (ex. Army, Navy) and NAIA and Junior College programs do not use the NLI.  However NAIA and Junior College programs may use a letter of intent that is provided by another organization, their conference or their own school.

When can I Sign a National Letter of Intent?

A National Letter of Intent can be signed during your senior year on the following dates:

Early Period: November 14-21, 2012

Late Period: April 17-May 15, 2013 (Division I)/August 1, 2013 (Division II) 

Can I be Offered a Scholarship After the Late Signing Period?

Yes, you can be offered a financial grant or financial aid agreement by an institution after the Late Signing Period but there will be no binding athletic agreement between a student-athlete and the institution. For all intensive purposes, after the Late Signing Period you would be completing the same agreement that a non-athlete student is agreeing to.

Can I Be Released from my National Letter of Intent?

This ia a very difficult question.  There are circumstances when a prospective student-athlete can be released from a NLI but this can only occur under certain situations.  Please use the references below to learn more about this topic.

 

Here is a link to the National Letter of Intent Home Page that will provide all the information you need regarding signing with a Division I or II program.

Here is a link to a Quick Reference Guide for the National Letter of Intent that the NCAA provides.

 

 

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