International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program

IB Program with AP Opportunitiesimage

IB and University Admission, Performance, and Retention

IB diploma candidates have the opportunity for acceptance into prestigious universities, receipt of substantial financial assistance, and the accumulation of advanced placement college credit.

Nearly every graduate of the Laboratory School plans to attend college, with the vast majority choosing four-year universities. Students who apply to selective colleges are expected to have participated in the most rigorous curriculum available at the high school level. The "IB" designation on a transcript assures universities of a very high standard of quality, as does the reception of the Diploma after graduation. This makes IB Diploma candidates very attractive to the nation's best colleges and universities, in both admission and financial aid.

An examination of selective admission universities' advanced placement credit awards indicate the high esteem in which IB is held by American universities. Harvard University offers full sophomore standing to Diploma Graduates, subject to a year's satisfactory performance at the sophomore level. All members of the University of Florida system provide the same recognition. Closer to home, Southeastern Conference universities typically award credit based on individual examination scores, with a "4" or "5" earning three semester hours and higher scores earning greater credit. Some schools accept standard level (SL) exam scores for college credit, while others only award the credit for higher level (HL) exams. Many universities cap their IB credit at 45 semester hours. AP exams are also available in applicable courses for a minimal cost.

Since approximately 70% of Lab School graduates attend LSU in a typical year, a closer look at its IB recognition policies seems appropriate. Ours is the first school in Louisiana to offer IB, so LSU admission officers acknowledge that IB applicants are not common. They regard IB Diploma candidates as very attractive for university scholarships and award considerable college credit for passing scores on the HL IB exams. A score of "4" on HL exams will earn three semester hours, while higher scores will earn as many as nine semester hours. This document breaksdown the IB courses and credits given by LSU.

Two studies of IB Diploma graduates reveal that IB students maintain a high college acceptance rate and are more satisfied with the college experience than non IB students. In the first study, 88% of IB Diploma holders compared with 41%of students who earned at least some AP credit maintained a "B" average or better through their first year of college. In the second study, the average drop in grade point average between high school and college was twice as high for college preparatory students as for IB Diploma students, and the IB students were twice as likely to rate themselves "satisfied" or "extremely satisfied" with their college experience.

Parents and students who wish to investigate the IB difference in college admission are encouraged to discuss the issue with college admissions officers and financial aid counselors.