Mark Fisk

Determined to be Debt Free

Mark Fisk

I chose Tyndale because I knew that I wanted a quality education in a place where I could grow closer to God. As Tyndale receives no public funding and relies on donors, I was well aware that finances could be a concern. However, the financial challenge was worth it to me for the small class sizes, the distinctive and challenging courses, and the faith-based community.

My goal, and my parents’ goal, was to see me graduate university debt free. Many graduates don’t know what they are going to do after university, so removing the burden of debt opens opportunities. It is a huge stress reliever. Graduating debt free is a difficult task at times, but with a little bit of planning, a lot of hard work and some significant help, it is doable.

My parents committed to covering half of my tuition costs as long as I was in school full-time and continued to receive decent grades. This was a huge help. Parents and family members want to see you succeed. Let them know about the financial burden you will be facing and they will likely be happy to help.

A pie chart showing funding with 50% from parents/family, 46% from work and 4% from personal savings

The other half of my tuition costs were covered mostly by summer work. I worked at some of the hardest and well-paying jobs I could find so that I could afford to focus all my attention on studies during the school year. I worked as a tree planter in British Columbia and worked as a landscaper in Toronto after that. The money I earned and saved allowed me to pay for my half of the tuition and have some money left over for necessities. At times I had to work 50 to 60 hour work weeks in some pretty intense conditions, but it made me stronger and showed me what I am capable of when I put my mind to it.

The tuition amount that wasn’t covered by my parents or by working in the summer was covered by savings. I had savings built up from jobs when I was elementary school and high school. When I was a kid, I was a paper-boy, dish-boy, babysitter, English tutor, pet-sitter, lawnmower and I shovelled snow – I did any odd job I could to earn money. My parents always made me put some of the money I had made into a savings accounts and Canada Savings Bonds. I’m glad they did; the bonds came in handy when things got tight. Investing my savings into my education was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

If you have relatives who are willing to help you pay for your education or at least to give you no interest loans, talk to them. They can invest in your success and help you graduate debt free.

Mark's Data Numbers

- Work during the summer: $5,750
- Personal savings:$ 500
- Parents: $6,250

Total: $12,500

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