The IBO conducted a survey of admissions tutors at selected UK universities. When asked, “96% favored the broader programme offered by the IBO, and 97% were satisfied that IB Diploma students were well prepared for undergraduate courses. 57% thought that the IB Diploma gave students an advantage over A-level students.”

How do U.S. universities view the IB Diploma program? This brief video featuring Stanford University's Assistant Dean of Admission (and parent of a WIS alumnus) offers one perspective.

When do we start meeting with the university counselors?

The university counselors start meeting with students mid-way through 10th grade to help them select their DP subjects for 11th and 12th grade. The counselor that your child is assigned in 10th grade will be with you all the way through to the college application process in 12th grade. Individual family meetings start in 11th grade when students have more of a track record, including grades and PSAT results. Before we start working with you more in depth, feel free to email us with any and all questions: or . Additionally, at a variety of points in your child’s Upper School experience, beginning in 9th grade, the University Counselors will be part of presentations and will communicate with families about important information that parents and students need as they look ahead to the college process.

How do colleges view the IB Diploma Program for admissions purposes?

Many colleges recognize the breadth, depth, and international components of the DP that make a WIS student more than prepared for college work. However, "prepared" does not mean "more competitive" for admission purposes at all universities. The more selective the institution, the more demanding its expectations in terms of course work, grades, interests, and activities. The most competitive colleges expect students to take the most demanding course load they can, while still maintaining their grades and outside interests. (Recognition policies by country are available here.)

What courses should I choose for my IB Diploma Program or Certificate?

The single most important factor in planning your schedule is your individual strengths, passions, and interests. It is not wise to create a program that is so difficult that you have no time to pursue outside interests. As the saying goes, "All work and no play makes Jack a very dull boy." At the same time, you should challenge yourself because the rigor of your curriculum will be examined in light of your future goals.

Additionally, depending on where you plan to apply, you must pay attention to the requirements for the program that interests you. The UK has the most prescribed requirements for many courses, whereas the US is much more lenient in terms of your high school preparation. We generally recommend that students applying to the UK and Canada have a full IB Diploma. If you are applying only in the US, the IB certificates are recognized by admissions offices and prepare students for college work. These options are discussed with you in your individual meetings when you select courses for the IB Diploma Program/Certificate.

Does WIS rank students?

Like many other small, independent schools with rigorous curricula, WIS does not rank students. Colleges are familiar with this practice and use the School Profile and their knowledge of the difficulty of the DP curriculum when evaluating our students.

When should students take the SAT and AP exams?

How do colleges make their decisions?

This varies depending on where you apply. See below for a brief description, organized by country, of what is requested as part of the admissions process.


  • Appropriate IB Diploma Program classes for the course selected
  • Predicted IB Exam grades
  • Personal Statement, which is used to evaluate how you have shown interest in your future course
  • School reference


  • Appropriate IB Diploma Program classes for the course selected
  • Predicted IB Exam grades
  • School reference


  • Rigor of high school curriculum
  • Grades on transcript since 9th grade
  • Standardized test scores
  • Extracurricular activities
  • School and teacher references
  • Essays
  • Special considerations such as diversity, legacy, athletic talent, artistic talent, musical talent, and demonstrated interest in the university
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