7 Key Facts About the NLI

signing_day7 Key Facts about the National Letter of Intent (NLI)

With the signing period approaching, many student-athletes and their families will be asked to sign a National Letter of Intent (NLI) document.  Here are 7 things you should know about the NLI:

  • The NLI is a binding agreement between the institution and the student-athlete – The student-athlete agrees to attend the institution full-time for one academic year and the institution agrees to provide athletic financial aid for one full academic year.
  • The NLI must be presented with an athletic aid agreement – The NLI must be presented with an athletics financial aid agreement that provides a detailed description of the award for the listed academic year.
  • The NLI is NOT required to receive athletic scholarship – While the NLI is not required to receive an athletic scholarship, understand that no financial aid commitment is guaranteed.  Once the NLI is signed, the athletic award amount becomes guaranteed and recruiting by all other NLI member institutions must cease.
  • The NLI is binding with the institution, not the coach – If the coach leaves the institution (voluntarily or not) the provisions of the NLI remain in effect.
  • The NLI does NOT guarantee the student-athlete a spot on the team – The NLI only guarantees that athletic aid will be awarded for one academic year.  All decisions on rosters and playing time are rendered by the coaching staff at the institution.
  • Cosigners other than parent or legal guardian must be approved in advance – If for some reason the student-athlete’s parent or legal guardian is not available to cosign the NLI (death, incarceration, etc.), the person selected to cosign the NLI must be approved in advance by the NLI office.  The name of the person selected to cosign and their relationship to the student-athlete must be submitted to the NLI office to gain approval.  THIS PERSON CAN NOT BE A COACH OR ATHLETIC ADMINISTRATOR.
  • The NLI is null and void if any of the following occur:
    • Denied admission to the university – If a review by the NLI office determines that necessary admission information was purposely omitted, the NLI MAY remain binding
    • Deemed a nonqualifier by NCAA Eligibility Center – If the student-athlete fails to meet the requirements for NCAA initial eligibility.
    • Recruiting violations – The institution is required to notify the student-athlete if a rules violation occurred that requires eligibility reinstatement.  At this time, the student-athlete has the option to have the NLI remain valid or be declared null and void.
    • Sport discontinued – If the sport listed on the signed NLI is discontinued at the institution.
    • Service in US armed forces/church mission – If the student-athlete serves active duty with the US armed forces or on a church mission for at least 12 months.
    • One year absence – If the student-athlete has not attended any two-year or four-year institution for at least one academic year, provided the request for athletic aid for a subsequent term has been denied by the institution.

Click these links for more information about the NLI or for a listing of NLI member schools.