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Learning About the National Letter of Intent


The National Letter of Intent is a binding agreement between a prospective student-athlete and an NLI member institution. When the NLI is signed, a prospective student-athlete is agreeing to attend the institution as a full-time student for a full academic year (two semesters or three quarters). The institution is agreeing to provide the student-athlete with athletic financial aid for that same academic year.

3 Top Questions about the National Letter of Intent

Who signs the NLI?
YOU, the student-athlete enrolling in the college will need to sign the NLI. If you are under the age of 21 your parent or guardian must also sign the NLI.

How do I get a NLI?
The college recruiting you will send the NLI to you. The materials you receive must include an offer of athletics financial aid for the entire academic year.

When can I sign a NLI? 
You can only sign a NLI during the designated signing period for your sport. If you sign outside the appropriate signing period, the NLI shall be considered null and void. Learn more about the Signing Periods for your sport here.

Additional Facts about the National Letter of Intent


  • The NLI cannot be hand delivered off campus by a coach or institutional representative. Also, a coach or institutional representative cannot be present at the time of signing.

  • The NLI may be delivered by express mail, courier service, regular mail, email or fax.

  • The NLI may be submitted to an institution by electronic means.

  • The NLI is signed with the institution and not the coach or coaching staff. If a coach or coaching staff leaves the institution, the student-athlete is still bound by the provisions of the NLI.


For the NLI to be valid, it must meet the following:

  • Accompanied by the athletics financial aid agreement from the institution

  • The athlete must be registered with the NCAA Eligibility Center and provide NCAA ID (this is the same for Junior College prospective student-athletes)

  • Must not be signed prior to the signing date

  • Must include a signature from a parent or legal guardian if the student-athlete is under 21


The NLI can be declared null and void for the following reasons:

  • The student-athlete is denied admission to the institution

  • The student-athlete does not meet NCAA, institutional or conference eligibility requirements

  • If the student does not enroll for at least one academic year

  • The sport is discontinued at that institution

  • If any Recruiting Rules Violations exist

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