National Letter of Intent/NLI

Commonly referred to as the NLI, this document commits an athlete to a university and signifies the end of the recruiting process. This is a legal contract that should be fully understood before you sign it. It is important to remember, the coach and university you are going to be signing with are going to be helping you through this process.

Letter of Intent Example

The university or coach will email or fax you a copy of the NLI and athletic aid agreement from that university and it should be ready for you to sign. A national letter of intent is not the scholarship agreement. That should come separately as an athletic aid agreement which will outline how much athletic aid you will be receiving. Once you receive your copy of the NLI and aid agreement, you will sign it with your parent/ legal guardian and email or fax it back to the coach/athletic department of the school you are signing with.

Here is an example of what an NLI will look like. Here is an explanation of the 12 provisions within an NLI.

It will be very clear if you will be receiving a scholarship and NLI offer from a particular university. If you are not sure if you are going to be getting a scholarship offer, which means you will not be getting an offer. If you are not in contact with a coach and getting evaluated you need to start. Our free online profile is a great way to start the recruiting process. You can create your account with the Parent or Athlete button above or here is more information on how to contact college coaches

National Signing Periods

The signing period for the 2013/14 school year is listed below. You will only be allowed to sign your NLI during these time periods.

Basketball

  • Early Signing Period (11/14/2012 – 11/21/2012)
  • Regular Signing Period (4/17/2013 – 5/15/2013 D1 or 8/1/2013 D2)

Football

  • Mid Year JC Period (12/19/2012 – 1/15/2013)
  • Regular Signing Period (2/6/2013 – 4/1/2013)

Soccer, Track and Field, Cross Country, Men’s Water Polo, Field Hockey

  • Regular Signing Period (2/6/2013 – 8/1/2013)

All Other Sports

  • Early Signing Period (11/14/2012 – 11/21/2012)
  • Regular Signing Period (4/17/2013 – 8/1/2013)

You Do Not Sign an NLI as a Walk-on or Recruited Walk-on

You will only be signing an NLI and an athletic aid agreement if you will be receiving a scholarship from the university. If you are planning on walking-on or are known as a recruited walk-on you will not sign an NLI.

Who Can Help with the NLI Process?

The process is not very complex, but many parents and athletes are worried about messing up and costing themselves a scholarship. If you are being offered an NLI from a school, you will not lose your scholarship because of a mistake you might make filling it out. It is important you have open communication with the coaches who will be offering you a scholarship and have contacts within the athletic department of each of the schools recruiting you. Don’t count on your high school athletic department or high school coach to just take care of it for you. This process is too important for you to just leave it up to other people.

All NLI’s should be accompanied by an Athletic Aid Agreement with the details of your scholarship. Here is an example of an Athletic Aid Agreement.

How to contact college coaches

The NCAA Clearinghouse

Author: David Frank

Join the #1 RECRUITING NETWORK