Facts and Criteria

What is SPARK?

Nazareth offers:

  • $1,500 SPARK grants to help cover undergraduate student costs for an unpaid or underpaid summer internship, an international experience (study abroad and service trips abroad anytime of year), or summer research. 
  • Tuition waivers for summer SPARK-eligible experiences that earn credit.

Who is eligible?

  • First-time (meaning you don't have a bachelor's degree) undergraduate students within 24 months of your start date at Nazareth
  • First-time (you don't have a bachelor's degree) undergraduate transfer students within 12 months of your start date at Nazareth (Exception: If you transfer to Nazareth before the end of your first year, you have 18 months.)
  • GPA of 2.5 or greater when your application is approved (or permission granted by application committee)
  • You must have an active planning process established with your career coach
  • You must be registered at Nazareth for the semester following your SPARK experience

What's the name mean?

SPARK = Students Pursuing Academic and Real-world Knowledge. SPARK is intended to help make possible great opportunities that can spark learning, growth, and connections that can be life-enriching, door-opening, and career-enhancing.

When can it used?

  • Internship and research: May through August (summer only)
  • International experience with Nazareth-connected programs: Anytime (within the eligibility timeframe)

Are there other benefits to the SPARK Grant program?

  • Housing: If you line up a summer internship or summer research role in Rochester and you're not from this area, a limited number of on-campus rooms are available for a nominal fee. Indicate your housing need on the SPARK Grant application. (More details below.)
  • Credits: You can receive up to three credit(s) for a summer internship, research, or study abroad experience (within the eligibility time frame) at no charge.


You must apply before the experience starts, but after you've lined it up.

How to Apply

1. Talk to your career coach — early — for guidance. Also see the guidelines below for internships, research, and international experiences.

2. Line up the program you're going to do, meaning get accepted into an international experience program, a summer internship role, or a summer research role. Get the appropriate experience approval form signed before the experience:

3. Have all of the following handy in digital form:

  • signed experience approval form (see step 2). You can scan and email it to yourself at the Nazareth library at no charge.
  • your resume as a pdf (See your career coach for resume help.)
  • unofficial transcript (Login to Naznet Self-Service, choose Academics, then Student Planning, then Unofficial Transcript.)

4. Let your career coach know you have found an experience and are ready to complete the application. With the documents ready to upload, fill out the SPARK Grant application form online.

What happens after I apply?

Your application will be reviewed by the SPARK committee (including your career coach). You will receive an email in about one week to let you know whether your application has been approved.

If approved, how and when do I get the funds?

See Christina Luther, cluther8@naz.edu, in Golisano Academic Center 121, for instructions to help you fill out the Accounts Payable Student Payment Check Request form correctly.

  • For a research or internship experience, you will receive the funds at the start of summer (Summer A).
  • For a long-term international experience, you will receive the funds at the start of the fall or spring semester (your term of experience).
  • For a short-term international experience, talk to Kathy Hansen or Christina Luther in the Naz Center for International Education about program fees for the specific program you are interested in and to determine whether you can get SPARK funds earlier to use toward the remaining balance. (Due to timing, don't plan to use SPARK for the deposit.)

If you want a direct deposit to your bank account, promptly follow the E-Check steps to provide your bank information, since it takes 2 weeks to verify that account.

Once Accounts Payable approves the check request form, you will get an electronic transfer (if you set up E-check in time) or a check by mail (to the address you provided on the check request form) within 2-3 weeks.

Additional requirements and aid if you're earning credit for a summer experience

If you will earn credit for your approved SPARK experience during summer, you also receive a SPARK tuition waiver to cover those credits.

  • Talk to your career coach to determine if your summer experience has a credit-bearing component and (if yes) to ensure you are or will be registered for the appropriate course.
  • Be aware that the registration process automatically creates a student invoice/bill for these credits — and you (and any family member who receives your tuition bills) will receive an email to check your NazNet Self-Service Account for your semester billing statement. This initial bill might not yet show your SPARK tuition/grant scholarship listed as pending aid; however, once your entire financial aid record for the coming year is complete, you will receive an electronic award notice from the Financial Aid office as well as an email from Student Accounts prompting you to view an updated bill.
  • The College needs to complete your financial aid for the entire coming year (summer, fall, spring semesters) under regulatory requirements, which means you must complete the FAFSA form/process. Nazareth's Financial Aid Office will let you know if you are missing any documents needed to complete your financial aid package for the coming year.
  • Once your financial aid package is complete, you will see a SPARK tuition waiver offsetting the costs for the credits. (The waiver does not cover a registration fee of $25, nor any on-campus housing fees.)
  • Your financial aid record will show your $1,500 SPARK grant as an "outside scholarship direct to student — SPARK." The grant will not change your bill because the grant is a check payable to you (the student).
  • If you have questions about the status of your financial aid so this process can be completed, please email Janice Scheutzow: jscheut1@naz.edu

Detailed Guidelines

SPARK Grant for Research

What's required for research to be eligible?
CARS presentation

SPARK Grant for International Experience

Which international experiences qualify?
How do I make sure study abroad credits transfer to Nazareth?
Can I use the SPARK Grant for trip advance payment(s)?

SPARK Grant for internships

What qualifies as an internship?
How do I find an internship?
Am I guaranteed a SPARK-eligible internship?
Paid or unpaid? "Underpaid"?
Do I have to intern in Rochester?
How do I know which internship course to enroll in?
Can this count as the internship required for my major?
Can I get a SPARK Grant for a past internship?
What if I line up a paid (not-SPARK-eligible) internship for the summer after freshman or sophomore year: Do I have to pay for those credits?
Does the 2-credit summer internship scholarship still exist?

Summer Housing on Campus

Who can use summer housing for SPARK Grant experiences?
What if my internship is paid (I'm not SPARK eligible), but I would like to live on campus?
What's included? What's not?

SPARK Grant funds

Is my award based on financial award status or need?
How many SPARK grants can I receive?
Do other funding streams for students affect SPARK eligibility?
Are there tax implications?
What happens if I fail to complete my SPARK experience?
Does the 2-credit summer internship scholarship still exist?
Other questions?
Kenyatta Allen used SPARK Grant for Dominican Republic semester

What will you experience?

A SPARK Grant can make great experiences possible. See what Nazareth students are doing with SPARK funds »

Info Sheet for Internship Providers

Info Sheet for Internship Providers (and potential providers) summarizes how Nazareth can help support a student to be able to pursue an unpaid summer internship or summer research position.

Juniors and Seniors

If you're not eligible for a SPARK Grant, talk to your career coach about other potential sources of funding.