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Applicant Survey 1999

1999 APPIC Match: Survey of Internship Applicants
Summary of Survey Results

April 18, 1999

  • Surveys Mailed = 500 randomly selected applicants who did not participate as a couple
  • Surveys Returned = 344 (68.8%) received through March 16, 1999
  • Missing Data is omitted unless otherwise indicated

Type of Doctoral Program:
  Counseling 61 17.7 %
  Clinical 266 77.3 %
  School 10 2.9 %
  Other 7 2.0 %

Degree Sought:
  Ph.D. 223 64.8 %
  Psy.D. 119 34.6 %
  Ed.D. 1 0.3 %
  Other 1 0.3 %

Is your doctoral program APA Accredited?
  Yes 306 89.2 %
  No 37 10.8 %

Is your doctoral program:
  University Affiliated 269 79.4 %
  Free-Standing 67 19.8 %
  Other 3 0.9 %

Number of students from your doctoral program who applied for internship this year (including yourself) - (please estimate if you don't know the exact number):
  Mean 20.41
  Std. Dev. 24.99
  Median 10
  Mode 8
  Range 1 - 200
  N 334

Please check the item that applies to you:
  First time participating in the internship selection process 317 92.2 %
  Went through the selection process in a previous year 23 6.7 %
  Other 4 1.2 %

Comments: All four who responded "Other" went through the selection process last year.

Two received an offer last year but declined it, one accepted an offer but had to back out for personal reasons, and one attended a non-APA accredited internship last year and was re-applying this year to accredited sites.

Extrapolating this data from 344 applicants to all 2,923 participants, we could estimate that a total of 229 of this year's Match participants went through the selection process last year.

Did you apply exclusively to internship sites within a single geographic area or region (defined as all sites being with 200 miles of each other)?
  Yes 104 30.3 %
  No 239 69.7 %

Were you matched to an internship site?
  Yes 298 86.6 %
  No 46 13.4 %

How many different sites did you apply to?
  Mean 13.79
  Std. Dev. 6.98
  Median 13
  Mode 15
  Range 1 - 44
  N 344

How many different programs (i.e., code numbers) were on your Rank Order List?
  Mean 7.99
  Std. Dev. 4.55
  Median 8
  Mode 7, 8, and 9
  Range 1 - 24
  N 344

Regarding the program to which you were matched, please indicate where it was ranked on your list:
  Mean 2.23
  Std. Dev. 1.72
  Median 1
  Mode 1
  Range 1 - 13
  N 296

Rank Number
  1 149 50.3 %
  2 53 17.9 %
  3 38 12.8 %
  4 20 6.8 %
  5 18 6.1 %
  6 11 3.7 %
  7 5 1.7 %
  8 1 0.3 %
  13 1 0.3 %

Comment: Unmatched applicants were omitted from this item.

Did you subscribe to APPIC-MATCH-NEWS
  Yes 247 72.0 %
  No 72 21.0 %
  Didn't know about it 17 5.0 %
  Don't have e-mail 7 2.0 %

Did you apply to any program(s) that did not participate in the Match?
  Yes 14 4.1 %
  No 329 95.9 %

Comment: Applicants who responded affirmatively were asked to describe how applying to non-participating programs affected their match experience. One reported that it had a positive impact on their experience, five reported a negative impact, and eight reported little or no significant impact.

Please indicate which of the following is true:
  My submitted Rank Order List reflected only my true preferences 335 97.4 %
  My submitted List did not reflect only my true preferences 7 2.0 %

How did you obtain your Match results?
  From the NMS web site 288 85.0 %
  From NMS via telephone 35 10.3 %
  Other 16 4.7 %

Did you experience any difficulties in obtaining your results?
  Yes 179 53.1 %
  No 158 46.9 %

Comments: Participants generally cited the difficulties in accessing the web site on Match Day, and the busy signals when attempting to contact NMS during that period.

Did you use the APPIC Travel Discount Program?
  Yes 43 12.6 %
  No 274 80.4 %
  Didn't know about the program 24 7.0 %

If yes, how many airline tickets did you purchase through the program?
40 applicants reported purchasing a total of 84 airline tickets.

If yes, how many cars did you rent through the program?
11 applicants reported renting a total of 15 cars.

If yes, please estimate the amount that you saved, in dollars:?
41 applicants reported saving an average of $193.05 each (median = $99, mode = $100, range = $0 - $1,500), for a total dollar savings of $7,915.00.

Comment: Extrapolating this data from 344 applicants to all 2,923 participants, we may estimate that, under the APPIC Travel Discount Program:

  • An estimated 339 applicants purchased 713 airline tickets
  • An estimated 93 applicants rented 127 cars
  • An estimated $67,254 was saved by all participating applicants

Please answer the questions below (responses of "Not Applicable / Don't Know" were excluded; for each question, n=332 unless otherwise indicated; "n" indicates number of applicants who responded in one of the five designated categories, "Strongly Agree" through "Strongly Disagree"):

    Strongly Agree Agree Neutral Disagree Strongly Disagree
9.   The materials and instructions provided by NMS were clear and comprehensive. 58.1% 38.0% 2.7% 1.2% 0.0%
10.   The registration process with NMS went smoothly. 68.1% 25.9% 2.1% 3.9% 0.0%
11.   The submission of my Rank Order List to NMS went smoothly. 70.2% 21.7% 3.0% 4.5% 0.6%
12.   NMS was responsive to my questions and concerns (circle "NA" if you never contacted NMS). (n=164) 60.4% 26.8% 5.5% 5.5% 1.8%
13.   The information distributed on APPIC-MATCH-NEWS was useful and informative (circle "NA" if you were not subscribed to this service). (n=244) 38.1% 47.5% 11.5% 1.6% 1.2%
14.   The APPIC Match Committee was responsive to my questions and concerns (circle "NA" if you never contacted the APPIC Match Committee). (n=42) 59.5% 21.4% 9.5% 9.5% 0.0%
15.   I am satisfied with the match result that I received from the Matching Program. (n=322) 65.5% 17.4% 3.7% 5.3% 8.1%
16.   Overall, I am satisfied with the APPIC Matching Program. 49.4% 35.8% 7.8% 3.9% 3.0%

Comment: Eleven respondents appeared to misunderstand the Likert scale used in questions 9-16. The apparently problematic responses were omitted.

In your judgment, did you experience any violation(s) of APPIC Match Policies by any site?
  Yes 41 12.0 %
  No 263 76.7 %
  Unsure 39 11.4 %

Comment: For comparison purposes, Constantine and Keilin (1996) found that, in a survey of applicants from the 1994-95 selection process, 40% reported experiencing at least one perceived violation of APPIC guidelines, with 2% unsure.

If yes, how many violations of Match Policies did you experience?
A total of 98 perceived violations were reported by 60 applicants.
  Mean 1.31
  Std. Dev. 1.01
  Median 1
  Mode 1
  Range 1 - 5

Comment: Includes responses by applicants who responded "Unsure" to item 17a.

Please describe the violation(s) without naming the site involved.
  Number who perceived as a violation Number who were unsure if a violation Description of perceived / possible violation
  11 6 Late notification of rejection / Not told that I was rejected
  11 4 Applicant asked to reveal ranking information
  9 6 Site revealed their rankings of me
  4 7 Site expressed strong indication of interest
  2 2 Asked about other sites to which I had applied
  1 1 Pressure to reveal "first choice" information
  1 0 Site revealed rankings to my advisor
  1 0 Site told me they prefer applicants
from a particular school
  1 0 Site called others to ascertain applicant's interest
  1 0 Told I would be ranked lower if I didn't interview in person
  1 0 Told there were others with more experience then me
  1 0 Site requested photograph
  1 0 Training Director called before Noon on Match Day
  0 3 Sites called asking if I had any other questions
  0 1 Brochure misrepresented the program
  0 1 I was asked, "would you move that far?"

Comments: (1) The Match Policy requiring sites to notify applicants ten days prior to Match Day was confusing to many participants. APPIC issued a clarification to this policy via e-mail, but many participants did not receive this updated information. (2) Some applicants described more than one violation. (3) Some of these perceived violations are not, in fact, violations of the Match Policies.

If yes, did you report any of these violations to the APPIC Standards and Review Committee (ASARC)?
  Yes 2 2.9 %
  No 66 97.1 %

Did you reveal any ranking information (e.g., "you are my first choice") to any site?
  Yes 18 5.3 %
  No 322 94.7 %

Comment: For comparison purposes, Constantine and Keilin (1996) found that, in a survey of applicants from the 1994-95 selection process, 78% reported providing "first choice" information to an internship site.

Did you experience inappropriate pressure from any site to reveal your rankings?
  Yes 16 4.8 %
  No 314 95.2 %

Comment: For comparison purposes, Constantine and Keilin (1996) found that, in the 1994-95 selection process, 30% of applicants reported experiencing undue pressure to disclose their rankings. Gloria and Robinson (1994) reported that 46% of the applicants in their study reported undue pressure to disclose rankings.

Did any site reveal ranking information to you (e.g., "you are our first choice")?
  Yes 17 5.2 %
  No 312 94.8 %

Subsequent questions asked the respondents to comment on: the positive and negative aspects of their experience with the Matching Program; problems, suggestions, improvements, and/or changes; issues, concerns, or suggestions about Match Policies; and feedback about the performance of National Matching Services.

Responses were coded and summarized. Most of those who responded to these open-ended questions provided multiple comments, and each comment was coded separately. Comments provided by only one applicant were eliminated.

Overall positive comments about the Match - went smoothly, well-organized, etc.
Problems accessing Match results from web site / America Online
Wait between Rank Order List deadline and Match Day was too long / stressful / I tended to second-guess my rankings while waiting
Match was less stressful / easier compared to previous years
Would like to have received feedback about how sites ranked me
Liked elimination of "Call Day" / No phone calls / No "holds" / Liked not having to accept or refuse offers
Keep the Matching Program / An improvement over the old UND-based system
Concerns about costs to students / Match is too expensive
Positive comments about National Matching Services - responsive, courteous, professional, provided clear information
Sites behaved ethically / Reduced violations by sites / Less "game-playing"
I was pleased with my Match result
Difficulty with limitations on communication / Policies on communication were confusing / Unsure what was and wasn't acceptable to communicate / Suggest modifying APPIC policies to clarify / simplify / eliminate rules about communication
Expressions of appreciation to APPIC - "Thank you" / "Great Job"
It was stressful because this was the first year of the Match - some Training Directors didn't understand the process
Concerns re: sites not contacting applicants who were no longer under consideration
Problems in attempting to contact NMS / Delays in sending / receiving info to / from NMS
Concerns about high cost of interviews / Suggest allowing telephone vs. on-site interviews
Supply and Demand concerns / Concerns about large number of applications
Would like to be able to check my submitted rankings / Worry that data entry wasn't correct / Concerned about errors being made
Liked being able to rank my true choices / being able to rank sites w/o pressure / Liked confidentiality of Rank Order Lists
Not enough time between interviews and Rank Order List deadline
Would have liked more information / more timely information
The Match process was too impersonal
Suggest revisions to AAPI
Problems with scheduling of interviews / lack of scheduling flexibility / last-minute notification of interviews made travel problematic / inclement weather
Frustration with the entire selection process / Angry that psychology puts students through this difficult process
Concerns about continued violations of Policies by one or more sites
Felt less control during the process
Overall negative comments about the Match
General positive comments about the availability of the AAPI
Liked making ranking decisions in advance / Being able to submit List and stop worrying about it
Liked getting results quickly / I received my results quickly from the web site
Suggest allow students and sites to submit rankings via the internet
Suggest moving the entire selection process to a different time of the year
APPIC was helpful / responsive
Problems submitting Rank Order List / Didn't receive confirmation postcard
Too much info on APPIC-MATCH-NEWS / Too many APPIC mailing lists
Match process was stressful / anxiety-provoking
Some sites misled me to believe that I was ranked higher with them than I really was / misled me to believe that I would be matched to them
Miscellaneous procedural concerns
Rank ordering my sites was confusing / difficult
Clearinghouse was problematic / difficult / chaotic
All sites should accept the AAPI
Concerns about diversity of internship classes
Liked the statistics received on Match Day
I was not happy with my Match result
Frustration that sites ask for on-site interview even when not serious about the applicant / Sites which invite a large number of applicants on-site / Applicants aren't told of the large number of applicants invited for on-site interviews
Unmatched applicants should be notified earlier (similar to medical match)
Travel Discounts weren't helpful to me
Notification of results by mail was delayed
Didn't know appropriate postage to Canada / Difficulty with international phone / mail
Eliminate the Matching Program - Go back to the old UND system
Concerns that some sites do not participate in the Match
Get more airlines on travel discounts
Experienced NMS as rude / unhelpful
Would like ability to change rankings once submitted
Suggest different Clearinghouse procedure
AAPI: Extra info requested was a lot of work / Sites should agree on additional info / essays required
Sites shouldn't require application materials in duplicate / triplicate
Concerns that some sites misrepresent themselves
Need to advertise travel discounts more widely

Constantine, M.G., and Keilin, W. G. (1996). Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers' guidelines and the internship selection process: A survey of applicants and academic and internship training directors. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 27, 308-314.

Gloria, A. M., & Robinson, S. E. (1994). The internship application process: A survey of program training directors and intern candidates. The Counseling Psychologist, 22, 474-488.