As you can imagine, there is both good news and bad news. The good news is that college officials will understand and appreciate the rigor and reputation of your school’s IB program, and–if you are successful in it–this will definitely work in your favor. But the bad news is that it may be hard to stand out in the crowd when you are in class with other bright, high-achieving students. So, in order to maximize your admission odds at the so called “top-tier’ colleges, you need to pursue interests … both academic and not … which allow you to be viewed as different from your classmates.
Keep in mind that the vast majority of applicants to the Ivies and other hyper-competitive institutions will have top grades in challenging classes and top test scores on their transcripts, no matter where they attended high school. So, in order to distinguish among so many qualified candidates, the admission folks then ask, “What’s special?”
Thus, although academic success in a well regarded IB program will definitely be a plus at admission time, your chances of acceptance at the most sought-after colleges and universities will be best if you are also successful in another arena … and, ideally, an uncommon one.