A National Letter of Intent is an official document indicating a student-athlete's decision to attend a Division I or II College for the purpose of participating in the school's athletics program. The agreement is valid for one academic year, provided that the student is admitted to the school. This program is under the direction of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Eligibility Center.
Although signing a National Letter of Intent is voluntary, many students choose to sign the letter as a ceremonial gesture. Because other schools are not allowed to contact student-athletes who have signed their National Letter of Intent, the official signing of this document effectively concludes the recruitment of the athlete.
Individual sports designate specific days as the official signing day for the athletes to commit to participation at a school. If the student-athlete changes their mind after signing their letter, they will need to request a release from the obligation in order to attend a different school. Without an appeal, they may lose one full year of eligibility.
Division III schools are not allowed to use National Letter of Intents as part of the recruiting process.