Three Ways to Finance Testing Materials

Dr. Jeremy Sharp Finances Leave a Comment

I remember when I had to ask my wife for permission to spend $8,000 on testing materials. The local university had recently changed their policy on prescribing ADHD meds such that ALL students seeking meds were required to undergo a full evaluation first, and I was fortunate to be a top referral source. Prior to that, I’d gotten by with borrowing from a friend or my graduate department and the few tests I’d pieced together. When they changed the policy, I suddenly found myself with a 500% increase in testing referrals and needed a full set of measures, stat.

After looking online at Pearson, ProEd, and PAR, I added everything to the cart and…gasped. Even though I’d served as assistant director at our grad school clinic and done a good bit of purchasing in the past, seeing the cost of a full set of materials all in one place was a bit shocking. Here’s a quick breakdown of what to expect if you’re buying a fairly comprehensive battery:

  • Intelligence (WAIS/WISC – I bought both): $1300 full kits
  • Academic: $900 (WJ-IV) or $500 (WIAT-III) full kits
  • WMS: $800
  • CVLT/CVLT-C (I bought both): $350/$210
  • RCFT: $150
  • CPT: $1200 (CCPT3) or $700 plus $15 each test (TOVA)
  • ADOS-2: $2000
  • DKEFS: $800
  • Behavior checklists: $2-3 each
  • Personality measures: $30-50 each for interpretive reports

There are three primary ways to finance a big purchase like this (I get no commission from the links below – just providing info for you).

  1. Credit card: I jumped online at Nerd Wallet and found the small business credit card with the best rewards at the time. Back then it was the Chase Ink Business card, but there are tons of options. I looked for one with a 0% APR on purchases for the first 12 months, knowing that the money I would make from all of the eval referrals would pay off the cost of materials very quickly. I ended up paying no interest at all because I paid everything off within that 12 months.
  2. Small business loanIf you’re uncomfortable with credit card debt in any fashion, you can likely easily get a small business loan or line of credit. You can go through your bank, a credit union, or a microloan site like Kabbage. Again, Nerd Wallet has good info on small business loan rates (love that site). Fundera is another informative site.
  3. Pay cash (or borrow from friends and family)If you have the luxury of a few months’ planning time, you can probably save a good bit of the money needed to buy testing materials. A pretty full battery costs about $8000, so saving $500/month for a year would get you pretty close. I’ve also known psychologists who got “loans” from family at a significantly lower interest rate than a traditional loan. Just be prepared to present some numbers and explain why materials cost so much!
  4. (Bonus method) Piece it together: Don’t buy it all at once. Again, with a little planning and the ability to borrow/rent from colleagues or a university clinic, you can likely put together a full battery over a few months without having to pay it all at once.

 

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