The Impact of the International Baccalaureate Diploma on University Acceptances

posted May 20, 2016, 2:52 AM by Suzanne, WARDINI   [ updated May 20, 2016, 9:50 AM ]


Dear Parents,

In 2011-2012 school year, the Board of Trustees approved the implementation of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program at ISD to improve the academic rigor of our school.  The program is a challenging two-year course of study culminating in a series of exams in May of the student’s last year of high school. Trained IB Examiners and not ISD teachers mark the exams.  ISD students sat the IB exams and earned IB Diplomas for the first time in May 2015.

Research shows that universities in the United States and around the world view students who earn an IB Diploma very favorably. Research also shows that IB graduates do better in the first year of university than students who did not earn an IB Diploma.

To determine the impact of the International Baccalaureate Diploma on our university acceptances, we examined data from the last five graduating classes, the last three classes before the full implementation of the IB Diploma program and the first two classes to graduate after participating in the IB Diploma.

The first table shows where the ISD graduates have been accepted.

Where ISD Students Were Accepted

Year of

Graduation

US

UK

Canada

Europe

Other

2012

79%

3%

6%

13%

1%

2013

92%

4%

4%

0%

1%

2014

85%

0%

12%

3%

0%

2015

44%

32%

17%

7%

1%

2016

35%

33%

29%

3%

0%

Prior to the IB Diploma, virtually all of them were accepted to universities in the United States and Canada.  In 2012, while 13% of the acceptances were in Europe they were largely acceptances to U.S. style universities such as the American University of Paris or John Cabot University in Rome.

Starting in 2015, the students began to apply and be accepted to universities in the United Kingdom in large numbers.  The reason for this is the fact that the IB Diploma is widely accepted by universities in the United Kingdom.  Recently the percentage of students applying to Canadian schools has increased as well.

The second table shows the overall number of acceptances at one of the top universities in the U.S. and around the world. In some cases, one student can account for two or three acceptances.  For the purpose of this review, a top U.S. university is defined as being rated as a top 50 national university or top 10 liberal arts college by the U.S. News and World Report.  A top world university is defined as a non-U.S. institution ranked in the top 100 by the QS World Ranking System.

Number of Acceptances at Top Universities

in the U.S. and around the World

Year of

Graduation

Top U.S.

Top World

2012

9

2

2013

10

0

2014

4

2

2015

3

10

2016

2

12

The data shows that the number of acceptances has slightly increased since the introduction of the IB, but where the students are being accepted has changed significantly. In 2012 and 2013, our top students were being accepted selective universities in the U.S. like Harvard, Cornell, and Brown.  After 2015, with the IB Diploma, our top students were now being accepted to selective non-U.S. universities like McGill University in Canada, University of Manchester in the U.K., and KU Leven in Belgium as well top universities in the U.S.

The third table shows the percentage of the graduating class that has been accepted to a top university.

Percent of ISD Graduates Accepted at Top Universities

in the U.S. and around the World

Year of

Graduation

% of

Graduating Class

2012

17%

2013

27%

2014

18%

2015

25%

2016

32%

The IB Diploma is helping a higher percentage of students get into top universities in the U.S. and around the world. In the three years before the IB was implemented, 21% of the graduates were accepted to a top university. In the two years since implementation, 28% of the graduates have been accepted to a top university.

While there are many factors that go into the student’s decision of where to apply, one of the major ones for many families is cost.  Tuition and fees at top universities in Europe and Canada are one-third to one-half the expense of the highly selective universities in the U.S., where the total costs now exceed $60,000 per year.  An IB Diploma allows the families to have a wider range of choices at a lower price.

ISD has a proven track record of helping top students get into highly selective universities.  The IB Diploma Program now allows our best students to get into top universities in the United Kingdom and as well as the United States and Canada.  Perhaps more importantly, the IB Diploma Program is increasing the number of ISD students who are being accepted at the top universities.

Comments