If you’re a student at a school with an International Baccalaureate program, you may wonder if attending an IB school as opposed to a school that offers AP courses will hurt your chances for admission to top colleges. Rest assured, it won’t. As of 2006, 752 high schools in the United States offered International Baccalaureate programs while 16,000 high schools offered AP courses.
The IB program, which had its beginnings in Switzerland, is now utilized in 3,288 schools in 141 different nations. Over 950,000 students study under the IB program and the Taihu International School in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province of China recently became the 4,000th IB program globally, all according to a release by the International Baccalaureate.
The IB requires students to do volunteer work, write an extensive research paper, and complete six mandatory interdisciplinary courses. Unlike in the AP program, one cannot pick and choose which AP courses to take. And what do college admissions counselors at America’s top colleges think about students who complete their International Baccalaureate as compared to students who take AP courses? College admissions counselors at America’s top colleges just want to see that students are taking the most rigorous courses available to them and succeeding in them. That’s all!
According to a “New York Times” article by D.D. Guttenplan on IB programs, “Christopher Watson, dean of undergraduate admissions at Northwestern University, near Chicago, says that ‘while the various qualifications are definitely not all the same, one is not better than another.’ ‘Any credential is less important than what got you there,’ he said…’I think parents don’t realize how in-depth we look,’ Mr. Watson continued, adding that the choice of a particular qualification has little impact on college admissions decisions. ‘You really have to pick a community and an academic setting where your you think your child will be most comfortable.'”