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Stanford’s Assistant Dean of Admissions on the value of an IB education

As an IB parent and the Assistant Dean of Admission at Stanford University, Debra Von Bargen has firsthand experience working with many IB graduates. As her son began the IB Diploma Programme, she saw him do things he never thought he could do. In her role as the Assistant Dean of Admissions, she is excited to see how a student has taken on the IB and knows that IB students show very high success rates during their first year of university.

Visit this page for more ways to strengthen your university application. This post is part of a series where admissions officers from top US universities explain how to leverage the IB Diploma Programme in your university application. The entire collection is also on YouTube and Vimeo.


  • C Shepherd

    The international baccalaureate program is symbolism over substance. The IB does nothing to prepare a student any more than a good curriculum conducted by competent instruction staff. It won’t get him in the college of his choice, smooth the undergraduate application process, or guaranty the $100K – $250K in student loans needed to attend university. In the end, this is the American school system administrators rendering a “one-worlder” nod to the internationalists who deeply believe social engineering is the answer to every perceived evil on our planet. Don’t be fooled by the IB mantra. It isn’t anything they say, and is yet another step on the path to the progressive/Marxist/socialist dream.

  • ethan hunter

    I think I see what you’re saying but I’m not totally convinced. I’d be interested to hear your evidence for your claims. Can you elaborate?

  • Jennifer Amanda Jane Ferguson

    I think you have zero real world experience with the IB.

  • ethan hunter

    Am now 1 year into the IB program and still don’t see how it is “anoth step on the path to the progressive/Marxist/socialist dream.”
    Although I do agree it is a nod to internationalists and isn’t inherently better than the AP or others.

  • Hi Ethan! Thanks for re-joining this conversation after nearly two years! As you enter your second year, we would be excited to hear more about your experience in the DP. I work predominantly with graduates but as you approach next May consider getting back in touch to give us an update ( Until then – good luck in year 2!