Parents & Families of Prospective Students

Nazareth offers a great combination of academic challenges and support, along with individualized planning for life after college. We're here to help make the college choice process go smoothly.

College Planning Worksheets

College Comparison Worksheet

Evaluate benefits and focus on finding the best college for your child.

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Junior Year Checklist

College search and planning tips for you and your high school junior.

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Senior Year Checklist

Key deadlines during senior year, plus a summary of things to do to get college ready.

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Application Deadlines

See application deadlines for Nazareth University and filing your FAFSA.

Learn more about FAFSA.

Find the Right-fit


Take one step at a time, following this helpful college planner showing what to focus on when.

In the fall of senior year, be aware of early decision deadlines and advantages.

For 10th and 11th grade college search

For 12th grade

Evaluating an institution's value

What to look for:

  • Return on investment: Compare standard measures of college success such as employment or grad school acceptance after college; ability to pay back college loans (loan default rate); licensure pass rates; and other high-impact practices that correlate to college graduates getting hired sooner and/or commanding higher starting salaries. (See more details under next topic: Outcomes.)
  • Experiential learning: A rich and well-rounded range of experiences and options for first-hand learning in and out of the classroom. Nazareth has more opportunities for experiential learning than any college our size, and students typically complete multiple for-credit experiences. One way Nazareth encourages hands-on learning starting early in the college years is the SPARK program, worth more than $4,000 — a $1,500 SPARK Grant to support study abroad, research, or an internship, plus a tuition scholarship worth more than $2,500 for a summer, for-credit SPARK experience. (See SPARK stories »)
  • Educational approach: Some colleges are rigid and prescribed while others are self-directed and flexible. Nazareth takes a flexible, broad, and guided approach. Our core curriculum options are intentionally relevant and encourage students to dive deeply into what interests them with support to connect the dots, Nazareth's diverse 60+ majors and 70+ minors can be paired to meet each student's unique goals and interests.
  • Personalized, proactive support: Nazareth's 1:9 faculty-student ratio means small class sizes and professors who get to know students, provide personalized guidance, and are available as ongoing mentors.
  • Individualized career coaching: Nazareth students are paired with a career coach and they begin meeting in the first days of the first semester.
  • Community engagement and service to the community: In addition to extensive volunteer opportunities, Nazareth is noted for integrating community service into service learning courses and student employment opportunities that build skills and perspective, such as tutoring and mentoring youth (Partners for Learning), collaborating with human service agencies (Partners for Serving), guiding teens with intellectual disabilities (LifePrep@Naz), and recruiting and overseeing election poll workers.
  • Individualized connections and guidance: At Nazareth, that includes getting connected for alumni and employer networking; service immersions (for which Nazareth highly subsidizes the cost); resume and website building; social innovation opportunities; professional skills development; access to local, national and international trainings & conferences; and leadership opportunities through student jobs in the community, Alternative Break student trips, and more.
  • Vibrant, active campus life: Schedule a visit »
  • Alumni involvement. If alumni are helpful, it means they found value in their experience and want to give back. Alumni can open doors for current students - helping them land jobs and internships. Nazareth has amazing alumni; more than 25% of recruiters at the last job fair were alumni! Nazareth's FlyerConnect platform makes it easy for students to connect with alumni and for alums to connect with each other.

Nazareth invests in high-impact practices such as experiential learning because they are shown to benefit students’ success. Nazareth graduates are well prepared for their next step toward their life’s work. A full 98% of Nazareth graduates are employed or have gone on to grad school within six months of graduating. See where on the Outcomes webpage »

Return on investment: Student outcomes

Do alums get hired? Or get accepted into grad school, for careers that require a master’s or doctorate?

  • Nazareth graduates are well prepared for their next step toward their life’s work. A full 98% of Nazareth graduates are employed or have gone on to grad school within six months. See details on the Outcomes webpage >
  • Many colleges openly provide outcomes data. But it’s important to dig a little deeper. What is the “knowledge rate” used to determine this number? The national average is 65%, meaning that the average college has outcomes data for just 65% of their graduates. At Nazareth, our knowledge rate for the latest class within a year of graduation is 85% —  which means that our statistics are more representative of our alumni than data from schools whose knowledge rate is much lower.

Also look at other measures of success, such as ability to pay back college loans (loan default rate); professional licensure pass rates; and participation in high-impact practices that correlate to college graduates getting hired sooner and/or commanding higher starting salaries.

For example, at Nazareth:

  • 98% of recent alums are employed or in grad school
  • Pass rates are consistently high on professional licensure exams, including for registered nurses, the occupational therapy certification exam, and the national physical therapy exam.
  • Nazareth's graduates land jobs that enable repaying loans. While the average student loan default rate nationally is 7.3%, and private four-year institutions average 5.2%, only 1% of Nazareth's graduates fall into that category, according to data from the U.S. Department of Education.
  • 20% of the Class of 2022 studied abroad (compared to less than 10% of all U.S. college undergraduates studying abroad). Study abroad correlates to increased hireability, jobs secured more quickly after graduation, higher starting salaries, and higher grad school acceptance rates, according to a study by the Institute for International Education of Students.

It’s common for students to initially not know what to major in — or to change their major in college. It’s good to know what support is in place for undeclared majors, and whether students can switch and still graduate on time.

Figuring out your "life's work" takes a village! The world of work has changed dramatically and is projected to continue changing at a rapidly accelerated pace. Helping students discover and think about what they like, what they're good at, and what they care about can be vital to making the most of their college years.

Nazareth’s approach:

  • For undecided students, ongoing guidance through our Undeclared: Open Path Program
  • Experience and exposure to build skills and develop interests
  • Among 60+ majors and 80+ minors, students have so many options for combinations that fit their interests and personalize their education
  • Nazareth’s core curriculum is integrated, experiential, and enables students to explore an “enduring question” that interests them, rather than requiring one pre-determined set of courses.
  • Each student is matched immediately with a career coach.

Learn more: 

Talking about your child's future

Consider: Any of us can feel pressured and stressed if we keep getting asked to think about and make big decisions about our future. That's why Nazareth's career coaches take a true coaching approach to support and guide students so they can make the right choices for them, combined with proven tools and strategies.

Emily Pelkowski, an assistant director of career education in Nazareth's Center for Life's Work, shares these career coaching tips for adults talking to students about their future:

  • Coaching is a partnership. Career coaches get to know their students and teach them skills that they can use throughout their lifetime. The goal is to help them see the numerous potential next steps.
  • Help students realize their potential by taking into account their interests, skills, personality, and values.
  • Encourage students to follow their dreams in a realistic way.
  • Connect students to others who can help them explore potential careers.

Your child likely wants a college big enough to have a wide selection of majors (see Academics question above), a vibrant campus life, and lots of opportunities (Nazareth has 75+ study abroad programs in 35+ countries!) — but small enough to offer individual attention, mentoring, and support by faculty.

Those student connections with faculty provide critical guidance during college and needed recommendations for jobs, grad school, etc.

Learn more:


Colleges in big cities or rural areas are at the ends of the spectrum.

In the middle is Nazareth: a classic, New England-style campus just a few miles from a medium-sized city that’s known for innovation, music, arts, and culture. Learn more about Rochester, New York »

The campus culture is welcoming and friendly — and the list of opportunities for stretching yourself and having new experiences is long. With Nazareth’s partnerships, students can go nearby or far away for civic engagement opportunities, internships, and study away/abroad.

The best way to truly know a location and its pros and cons is to visit. Schedule a campus visit »

In the meantime:

Supporting success

Students in college can face challenges with academics, mental health, and staying on track to meet graduation requirements.

Nazareth has multiple efforts in place to support student success, including:

Career prep

You want your child to complete college well prepared for a career.

The reality is they’ll typically have multiple careers over their working life — even in roles that don’t exist today.

And work is one part of their life. They also may have passions for certain causes or values that are important to round out a satisfying life.

Look for colleges that develop the whole person.

Nazareth’s approach is to prepare students not just for a job, but for their life’s work.

A centerpiece of that is the Center for Life’s Work, which pairs students with career coaches immediately to help shape their experience to meet their goals, which can start with determining goals. Center for Life’s Work »

  • Ask about the student-to-career-services-staff ratio. The lower this ratio, the greater the chance for your child to receive individualized assistance from Career Services. Nazareth's ratio is strong: 230:1 for undergrads. By comparison, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) average for all colleges is 1,694:1, for colleges like Nazareth, the average is 1,626:1. If the college you are considering can't tell you this, ask how many staff people work in Career Services, then divide that by the total number of students enrolled.
  • Ask if alums get hired or accepted into grad school. See Nazareth's outcomes »
  • Alumni offer mentoring and networking through Nazareth's FlyerConnect platform, which provides students with suggested matches with alumni.
Manage/reduce stress

Nazareth’s Health and Counseling team put together these tips for you.

  • Listen. It’s natural to want to be involved in the college application process, but be careful not to project your own hopes and dreams. Allow your student to discuss what they want from a college experience and listen to those ideas. Sometimes validating their stress ("Wow, that sounds really difficult") without jumping in to problem-solve is the best way to let your students know they are being heard.
  • Staying healthy during senior year. Encourage your student not to overschedule themselves during senior year. The same goes for parents! Say "no" to extra commitments, get plenty of sleep, try to follow a healthy diet, and get regular exercise. The college search process and subsequent waiting period can be time-consuming and exhausting. Be good to yourselves!
  • Have honest discussions. Many parents have concerns about underage drinking, drug use, and sexual encounters in college--your students probably have the same fears! Open up a nonjudgmental dialogue with your student, and keep the communication flowing. You may be the most trustworthy source of information that they have. Remember that you were a teenager once and keep listening, even if you don't agree with their choices.
  • Remember the relationship. In our busy lives, it can be all too easy to turn any time spent with your student into an opportunity to discuss the application process. Make a concerted effort to spend time together without bringing up college. Instead, schedule times to talk about college, and declare other times stress-free zones! Your student needs to be reminded that their choice of college is not the only thing that is important or valuable about them.  Set the work aside sometimes and have fun together.
  • Take a respite. Despite good planning, sometimes both parent and student stress levels can build to overload. When this happens, it's OK to take some time for yourself. Watch a movie, get a massage, take a walk, or get together with friends. Just because this feels all-consuming does not mean it has to be. You will be a better parent and a better guide through the process if you keep yourself mentally and physically healthy.
  • Nazareth’s 24-hour Campus Safety service never closes. In addition to its patrols, responses, and safety and crime prevention work, the department offers a free Safe@Naz mobile app, blue light phones, and NazAlert emergency notification system to help keep the campus safe. (Students can include parents/guardians to get NazAlert notifications.)
  • Campus Safety is staffed by a well-trained team of uniformed campus security officers who are licensed, registered, certified and trained in accordance with regulatory requirements of the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services.
  • Campus Safety provides continuous patrols of campus properties and grounds and responds to emergency and non-emergency calls for service by foot, vehicle, and bicycle. Campus Safety partners closely with local police, fire, and emergency medical services for response on and immediately adjacent to the campus.
  • As first responders, Campus Safety Officers receive ongoing training and certifications in key areas such as critical incident management, fire safety, CPR, first aid, NarCan administration (opioid-overdose), administering emergency oxygen, Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs), mental health first aid, alcohol and other drugs, sexual assault investigations, and more.
Being happy, making friends, and feeling connected

How can you tell if your student will be happy at the college they are considering?

This is unique to each student, what they hope to experience while in school, and other factors. But certain indicators suggest that the odds are in your favor. Ask about the college's retention rate for students from the first to the second year. Look at what's available to help students connect with others. And your student can ask current students — such as that tour guide who showed you around campus.

  • Students change colleges for a host of reasons including academic difficulty, cost, and more personal reasons. At Nazareth, 84% of our students stay at Nazareth for year two.
  • Nazareth is intentional about creating a culture of belonging — led by Culture, Community, & Belonging.
  • More than 55 student clubs on campus provide opportunities to find an affinity group — and students can start new clubs.
  • Religious and spiritual communities are offered on campus.
  • Nazareth’s Mobile App (and online events calendar) show students the many events happening on campus, where students can socialize, cheer for an athletics team, enjoy fitness classes or other self-care, hear a stimulating speaker, gather to socialize, and more.

After graduation: 58% employed; 27% in grad school at Naz; 13% in other grad school; 2% seeking

Student Outcomes

Most new alumni are employed or in graduate school within six months of graduating.

More outcomes

Have Questions

Contact the Admissions office: or 585-389-2860