Want to go to a Top 30 University?

Then You Need to be a Full IB Diploma Candidate



For anyone who has attended a college visit to a top 30 university, the refrain is the same at each institution: “we want to see that you have taken the most rigorous program of study available at your school.” For John Adams High School that means the Full IB Diploma Program. It does not mean IB Certificate. Doing the full diploma is the most rigorous program at JAHS. To choose anything less is essentially telling the admissions personnel that you chose consciously not do do the most academically rigorous program at your school.

Given the above, one might ask, “does doing the full diploma equate to a better chance of being accepted to the top 30 universities in the nation?” Fortunately, we have a resource that gives an answer to that question and the resounding answer is, YES!

In 2011, The IBO (International Baccalaureate Organization) commissioned a study by The International Insights Research Group to answer the question of IB Diploma acceptance rates at US national universities. The conclusion was IB diploma students enjoy an average 18% higher acceptance rate at Ivy League universities and a 22% higher acceptance rate at top rated Non-Ivy League schools as compared to Non-IB Diploma Students (http://pages.crimsoneducation.org/rs/039-NBM-750/images/FL-10-2018-ib-student-acceptance-rates-at-top-us-universities.pdf?mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiWTJaalltRTJOV0kzT1) and (http://pages.crimsoneducation.org/rs/039-NBM-750/images/FL-10-2018-ib-student-acceptance-rates-at-top-us-universities.pdf?mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiWTJaalltRTJOV0kzT1).

As examples see the table below:

University Overall Acceptance Rate % IB Diploma Acceptance Rate %
Stanford 4.65 17
Harvard 8 28.3
U of Chicago 7.9 60.3
Princeton 6.5 17.2
Cornell 14.1 47
Yale 6.3 14.3
Johns Hopkins 11.4 46
Columbia 6 13.9
U Penn 9.4 31.6


The information makes it clear that doing the full diploma greatly increases a student’s chance of getting into a top tier university. Not choosing to do the full diploma tells the admissions office at any top tier university you chose not to engage in the most rigorous program at your school. That is not what a student wants the admissions offices thinking about them.