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What universities know about IB: Common questions and answers about university applications (US and Canada)

This post is part of a series in which admissions officers answer questions about International Baccalaureate (IB) student university applications.

Students and parents often weigh the value of an IB education against how well it prepares students for university admissions. Below are insights from several admissions teams on questions that often get asked about students applying to universities in the United States and Canada. While there is no secret formula for the perfect application at the college of your dreams, one thing is certain: IB students will have plenty to show universities as they prepare their applications.

“Universities and colleges are looking for people who are interested in learning, who want to learn and who are following their own interests.” Andrew Arida, University of British Columbia

“As a parent thinking about my child attending an IB programme, I do remember worrying about the rigor and was it going to be worth it. And I think in so many ways it has been.”  Debra Von Bargen, Stanford University

“Even in a high tech capacity, you’re going to need skills in communication and working with other people and vice versa.” Andrew Arida, University of British Columbia

“Universities tend to view full diploma students as highly prepared for entering a liberal arts institution because … they see the value in the breadth of courses that they’re studying.” Debra Von Bargen, Stanford University

“Among highly selective institutions we’ve known about the IB programme and worked with IB students basically since the inception of the program.” Debra Von Bargen, Stanford University

How IB prepares students for success in university

“It gives a student an awareness of what they can do and that’s a unique experience that you don’t often find for students and under-served populations because they simply don’t have access to those kinds of opportunities.” Kedra Ishop, University of Michigan

We would like to extend a special thanks to Debra Von Bargen, Andrew Arida, Kedra Ishop, Kevin Hudson, and Brian Spittle for sitting down with us in 2016 to offer this timeless advice for IB students and parents. You can learn more about Stanford University, the University British Columbia, the University of Michigan, Princeton University, and DePaul Univerisity by visiting their websites.