Demystifying the Diploma Programme – Part Two

Last week I wrote about the successes found by graduates of the IB Diploma Programme in the university application process. You'll recall that DP students surveyed reported success is gaining admission into many top schools across Canada, in many cases with success rates upward of 90%. It should come as no surprise that similar results have been found by students applying to universities in the United States.

The chart below illustrates the percentage of successful applications to a number of top American schools, contrasted with the overall success rates of all students who applied. The results speak for themselves:

University IB Diploma Total Population
Stanford 15% 7%
Columbia 13% 9%
UC Berkeley 58% 26%
Harvard 10% 7%
Cornell 31% 18%
Duke 28% 16%
UCLA 48% 23%
Princeton 16% 8%

As you can see, success in the Diploma Programme significantly increases the likelihood of success in the university application process. But why?

There are many possible answers, but I'd like to focus on a couple. Firstly, the standardized nature of the DP provides Admissions Offices with a significant advantage when considering a large number of students competing for a small number of spaces. At a time when standardized testing is increasingly rare, the nature of the DP allows universities the opportunity to objectively evaluate student successes. This is important because Admissions Offices are interested in accepting students who are the most likely to find success in their university endeavours.

The comments of various Admissions Offices provide further evidence of the perceived advantages that universities feel the DP offers students:

"In their first year Diploma students earn higher marks than their counterparts and they are more likely to complete their program of studies and graduate." – University of Toronto

"IB Diploma students as a whole are able to maximize their university experience and be highly successful in their four years. Diploma students have a seamless transition to the Columbia program." – Columbia University

"We are blown away by what Diploma students are learning and the Diploma is a spectacular program." – Stanford University

Another factor to consider is that the well-rounded nature of the DP curriculum creates students with interests that extend far beyond the classroom. The Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS) core component creates students with a sense of empathy to complement their intellect. More than ever before, universities are interested in students who demonstrate a willingness to contribute to school life beyond the classroom, and time and again DP graduates have shown that doing good in their community is every bit as important as doing well on tests.

So now that we've covered the advantages DP graduates find gaining entry to great schools, how do we find out how they do once they begin their next chapter? We ask them. More on that next week.

by Glenn Zederayko, Head of School