What’s a National Letter of Intent

What’s a National Letter of Intent

One may have heard of a National Letter of Intent (NLI), but what is a National Letter of Intent? Who submits one, and where do you forward it? There’s not too much information out there, and what is available, is quite vague. I have taken it upon myself to answer these questions for you and your athlete. Hopefully, when you come to the point of doing a National Letter of Intent, you will know exactly what to do, and will be able to do it without the overwhelm and stress. This blog will give you everything you need to know about submitting a National Letter of Intent.

What is a National Letter Of Intent?

A National Letter of Intent (NLI), is an agreement a student-athlete signs when they have agreed to study in a division I or II school. Once an NLI is signed, it ends the recruiting process. This means your athlete will no longer need to look for a division I or II school. It also means the coach won’t need to look for someone else to recruit for that position. The NLI is an agreement bound for one academic year. After the NLI has been signed, other coaches can no longer recruit you. They cannot legally recruit a student who has already signed with another NLI institute.

Who Signs A National Letter of Intent?

Student athletes who will be attending a division I or II school, have the option to sign a National Letter of Intent. The form is totally optional. Your athlete is not required to sign an NLI if they don’t wish. Your athlete can still receive financial aid, and compete in sport if they don’t sign one. The letters purpose is basically to seal the deal. It locks your athlete into a 12 month ‘contract’ so-to-speak. A deal that locks your athlete to that school and coach. If your student-athlete is under the age of 21, you as the parent or guardian will also need to sign the NLI.

When Should I Sign The National Letter of Intent?

Student-athletes who wish to compete at a division I or II NCAA school, must first register with the NCAA eligibility centre. When your athlete is registered, they will then receive an invitation for an official visit. After the official visit, your athlete will be sent an official offer. They will also be asked if they would like to sign a National Letter of Intent. As mentioned earlier, it is not a requirement. It is simply a contract that seals your athlete to that coach and college. If your athlete chooses to sign an NLI, it must be signed within seven days of the issue date. The NLI can only be signed inside the signing period for your athletes sport. Please double-check the signing periods for that sport. If your athlete signs outside of the signing period, it will be declared invalid.

If your athlete is still unsure, as to whether it’s the college they wish to attend, I recommend not signing the NLI just yet. The NCAA will assess your athletes financial aid assistance eligibility, and if they are accepted into that school, the National Letter of Intent will be offered. Your athlete will only sign the NLI once in their time at college. When your athlete does sign an NLI, keep a copy for your records, along with any financial aid packages.

What if I Sign and Change My Mind?

If your athlete finds themselves in a situation where they have signed an NLI, then realise they want to change their mind, they will need to request a release from the school. This decision is purely to the discretion of the coach, and they can choose not to approve the release. It is so important that you are absolutely certain your athlete wants to attend a college, before signing an NLI. If your athlete signs an NLI, then choose to go to another school without requesting a release, they will have all financial aid revoked for 1 academic year.

Where Do I Send The National Letter of Intent?

After your athlete has signed, where do you send the National Letter of Intent? You always submit it to the institution that has issued it. You can send the NLI via email. When the Institute has received your athletes NLI, it is then the responsibility of the institute to have it filed with their conference office. This needs to be done within 14 days of it being received. If they don’t file it in time, your letter will be declared invalid. It does pay to chase it up within 12 days to ensure that it has been filed.

Wrapping Up

Hopefully this has given you a little more clarity on what the National Letter of Intent is, and who signs it, when they sign it, and where it’s forwarded. As mentioned, it is not a requirement that your athlete signs the NLI. It is purely optional, and simply an agreement that your athlete will supply all necessary documentation, and receive one academic year of financial aid and sports competition, If your athlete chooses not to sign an NLI that has been offered, please keep watch on signing dates and deadlines. That way if they choose to go to another college, you will be all over the NLI and sports signing deadlines.

If you would like any more information on the National Letter of Intent, and resources that will help your athlete achieve college success, subscribe to PEAinternational so you never miss a thing. You can subscribe by following this link https://mailchi.mp/d2e37d7ced4e/joinpromotingelevatingathletes. I would also love to invite you to become part of my private Facebook group, Promoting Elevating Athletes. You will become a member of a community of sporting parents and their elite athletes, all looking to pursuit the college dream. I host twice-weekly live shows with live bonuses. We also have some fun competitions and games that also have bonuses and prizes. And you will find a ton of awesome resources, tips, tools, and strategies that will help your athlete achieve the ultimate goal of going to college on a sports scholarship. Come join my fun sporting community today by following this link http://www.facebook.com/PEAinternational.

Alternatively, if you are quite time constrained, and your athlete is bursting at the seams to get this show on the road, book a free 30-minute consultation with me. We will go through your best approach, and what action steps you should be taking NOW. Jump on my calendar and schedule a call right here https://brookehamiltonindustries.com/free-consultation-call/. When we finish the call, you will have a clear action plan to start implementing straight away. I can’t wait to get chatting. Yours in sport, Brooke Hamilton.


I give parents the tools and strategies required to help their elite athletes achieve their dream of a college sports scholarship. I teach everything from maintaining balanced sports, sleep, and school lifestyle, build visually pleasing sports portfolios, college and scholarship choices, creating exposure through social media, and the application process from start to finish. All this, and more. Your athlete's success is my #1 priority.

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