I came across this interesting op-ed at the Washington Post. The gist of the opinion is that most schools around the U.S. have not given IB the same consideration as the more long-standing AP exam for advanced credit while in high school.
American education has a tattered reputation in many respects, except for our colleges and universities. They are world leaders in quality and accessibility. The desire to provide our children the best in higher education unites Americans in a unique way. So it dismays me to report that on one issue, the leaders of nearly every four-year college in the country have shown appalling ignorance and hypocrisy. They say they want high schools to provide challenging courses for students thinking of college, but at the same time they discriminate against the most demanding college-level program in high school: International Baccalaureate.
IB has a very strong and challenging requirements to complete not only the coursework but the full diploma. While AP exams are more prevalent in U.S. schools, to say that they are of greater value than an IB course or diploma is, in my opinion false. Again, Jay Matthews:
It is important to note that AP, like IB, is a terrific program, well worth college credit for students who do well on its exams. But many experts say IB is more challenging. IB puts more emphasis on analysis and writing, including requiring a 4,000-word essay for students seeking a full IB diploma. IB final exams are five hours long and rarely have multiple-choice questions, whereas AP exams are three hours and about half multiple choice.
Oregon State believes this enough to provide automatic scholarship and sophomore standing if a student completes an IB diploma program. These students are tailor-made for the rigors of college, especially that of a research university like Oregon State University.