Financial Aid and the National Letter of Intent

What is the National Letter of Intent?

The National Letter of Intent (NLI) is a binding agreement between a prospective student-athlete and an NLI member institution that is provided in conjunction with an institution’s written offer of athletically related financial aid. The agreement confirms the following:

  • The prospect agrees to attend the institution full-time for one academic year (two semesters or three quarters); and
  • The institution agrees to provide athletics financial aid for one academic year (two semesters or three quarters).
Once a prospect signs an NLI to attend a university, other institutions are prohibited from recruiting that prospect from that point forward. Although the recruiting process may be over once a prospect signs a NLI, the individual remains a prospective student-athlete until he or she enrolls and attends classes at the institution. The basic penalty for not fulfilling the NLI agreement is that the student-athlete will be required to serve one year in residence at the next NLI member institution he or she attends and will also lose one season of competition in all sports.

To learn more about the National Letter of Intent program, check out the NLI website here.

Eligibility for Athletically Related Financial Aid

Student-athletes must meet applicable NCAA, Big Ten, and Ohio State rules to be eligible for athletically related financial aid. If these rules are met, student-athletes may be awarded institutional financial aid during any term in which the student-athlete is in regular attendance (exceptions for final term and summer term) under the following circumstances:

  • The student-athlete is an undergraduate with eligibility remaining under Bylaw 12.8 (five-year rule); or
  • The student-athlete is a graduate student eligible under Bylaw 14.6.

What Does a Full Athletic Scholarship Cover for Student-Athletes?

  • Tuition & Fees
  • Room & Board
  • Required Course Related Books
  • Amount up to Cost of Attendance (beginning with 2015-16 academic year)
What Does an Athletic Scholarship Not Cover for Student-Athletes?
  • COTA Bus Fee
  • Legal Services Fee
  • Single Room Charge
  • Amounts Requested On Buck ID
  • Fines/Tickets, Lock Change Fees, and Room Damages
  • International Room & Board Tax (14%)
  • Student Health Insurance
  • Freshman/International Orientation Fee
To learn more about non-athletically related financial aid, please visit the Ohio State Student Financial Aid website here.
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