What is the National Letter of Intent?
Many people are unaware of what the National Letter of Intent is, and what happens when you sign one. At first, it may seem as though it's just another scholarship or a type of financial aid. You can find more information about the National Letter of Intent at NCAA.org.
The National Letter of Intent (NLI) is an agreement between a prospective student athlete and a school that is a member of the NLI. This agreement is a guaranteed athletic scholarship for the student athlete for one year. It lets the athlete know that he or she can expect financial aid at the school, and signals the school that the athlete is prepared to join its athletic program.
Currently, 616 NCAA Division I and II schools participate with the NLI. Ivy League schools and the military academies do not, however, and Division III schools do not financially compensate for athletics (although you might get a financial aid package for other "official" reasons). If you are trying to get recruited, find out the NLI situation ahead of time.
It's important to understand that the NLI is an agreement between the student athlete and the institution, not between college coaches and athletes. This means the student athlete must attend the school that he or she signed with for one school year (two semesters or three quarters), unless the school decides to release the student athlete before the year is up. Below is a chart which outlines the sport and the early and regular signing period dates of the NLI.
|Sport||Initial Signing Date||Final Signing Date|
|Basketball (Early Period)||November 14, 2012||November 21, 2012|
|Basketball (Regular Period)||April 17, 2013||Div. I: May 15, 2013
Div. II: August 1, 2013
|Football (Midyear Junior College Transfer)||December 19, 2012||January 15, 2013|
|Football (Regular Period)||February 6, 2013||April 1, 2013|
|Field Hockey, Soccer, Track and Field, Cross Country, Men's Water Polo||February 6, 2013||August 1, 2013|
|All Other Sports (Early Period)||November 14, 2012||November 21, 2012|
|All Other Sports (Regular Period)||April 17, 2013||August 1, 2013|
*This information was obtained by the NCAA. To read more about the NLI and how it works, please visit the following website: