How important are IB Students vs. TWBI students to Ivy College or Military Service Academy?

My son needs to choose IB program vs. TWBI (Two Way Bilingual Immersion) program in Spanish. He will go to either Military Service Academy or Ivy to study law. Which school gives him a better admission chance? Are the language important to Ivy or Military SA admission?
With TWBI, my son can finish 2 years college in high school in Spanish, certified Interpreter/Translator together with all other APs.

  1. How are you so sure your son will go to an Ivy or a service academy? Both are highly competitive for admissions.
  2. It’s nice that your son can finish two years of college in HS, but that doesn’t mean that he will be able to graduate college in two years. @ChoatieMom can he do this at a service academy?
  3. What year in high school is your son now?
  4. IB programs are usually viewed as the most challenging HS programs.
  5. Can your son do IB, and also study Spanish? Betting he can.
  6. What does your son want to do?

@thumper1 raises some very valid questions. But bottom line, at least for Ivy League colleges, both are rigorous, but one will not give “better admissions chances” over the other. He should choose that path that is right for him according to his own parameters.

This and only this.

Even if he finished four years and earned a B.A. or B.S., he’d still start all over as a freshman (Plebe) at a service academy as no college credits transfer. Believe it or not, there ARE Plebes who start at the academies with a college degree already under their belts as the age cutoff for freshman is 23 and there are some who are so determined to go to an academy that they keep applying until they are accepted even if they have to do the college part all over again. Doesn’t make any sense IMO, but there are some who do it.

Our son entered West Point with Spanish proficiency but because we aren’t likely to go to war with Spain anytime soon, it is not a language that “matters.” Chinese, Russian, and Arabic are more useful there.

Neither of the programs mentioned will give him a better chance of receiving an appointment. He needs to focus on getting a nomination first, and it is impossible for anyone here to know how competitive your district will be in the year your son applies. Also, what the academies are looking for in applicants is not the same as what civilian colleges look for. For example, the biggest boosts he can show on his application are Eagle Scout and varsity team captain. Of the 1240 appointees to the West Point Class of 2021, here are the athletic stats:

Varsity Athletics … 1224
Letter Winner …1078
Team Captain …827

For further general information, you can read my advice about applying to a service academy here:

‘Law’ is not an undergrad major at the Ivies or Service Academies. Some study ‘pre-law’ as undergrads, but that is not usually a major either just a group of classes or concentration.

@twoinanddone makes a good point. At the service academies, the student needs to be in the very top of the class (1%) to be selected for a law degree after undergrad is completed, and the degree comes with additional years of service on top of the minimum five.

Prelaw is just an intention, not (usually) a major. No specific courses or major are required in college to go to law school, although some may be helpful (e.g. courses with logic and writing). Law school admission is heavily based on LSAT and GPA.

The most important factor is which course of study your son is most interested in. Does he see himself immersed in a Spanish speaking area where fluency matters ten years from now? Does he excel academically and need the challenges of the IB curriculum? Will he be bored with the regular curriculum associated with the Spanish immersion? Is he gifted or just a bright student whose family sees prestige in those college choices?

ChoatieMom has been very informative- thanks for that. Note that not only are the service academies a four year college commitment but also that extra five years in the military. Law school would entail not only that three years plus more time on top of the five years service. Does your son want a career in the military?

Regarding the Ivies. Assuming your son is of Ivy league caliber you have to realize there are thousands like him. There are also so many elite colleges that could be a better choice for his education. Many flagship public U’s have excellent offerings and students populating honors programs/colleges with abilities equal to (better in some cases) than those at Ivies. Remember that the Ivy league is a sports league. It is not the epitome of a college education for many qualified to attend those schools. Think outside that box.

Okay, so your son has plans for a legal career. There are many, many lawyers with many diverse practices. What are his final goals? His, not yours. There is life outside the HYP system. (Maybe someday for those wishing to reach the Supreme Court).

OP- your assumption about “will go” is so presumptuous. So sorry your son’s future is set in concrete at this point in his life. He deserves the freedom to explore other options and decide his own future. He will grow and change so much in HS. Allow him the freedom to do so.

Again- what does your son favor? Even the highly gifted are so much more than their academics. We are all multifaceted. Childhood is for living as well as for preparing for the future. Even for the gifted. What will happen if he does not get into the above options? Will you be ashamed and embarrassed? Will he be okay with crushed dreams?

Getting ahead with college level Spanish and Spanish language fluency is the only advantage of the immersion program. Needed to reread the OP post to realize this. Only good if your son intends his future to include Spanish areas (such as in parts of Florida or Texas). As far as getting into either of the listed options, good grades will matter. Will your son be able to get mainly A’s in the IB program? Colleges look at the course rigor taken compared to that available. It is not better to get B’s in the most rigorous classes than to get A’s in classes geared to your son’s ability. Take note of the service academies focus on other capabilities in addition to good grades. btw- perfect grades and test scores should not be the goal- many with those are rejected.

You and your son need to look at the available AP classes with the Spanish immersion program. Will they satisfy his academic needs for intellectual stimulation compared to his IB options? btw- please, please do not pressure him to get top grades. Capable teens may rebel against that and underperform. Does your son handle all types of classes well? STEM, social studies and humanities? Look at the service academies required classes. Would he enjoy the STEM classes I bet they require?

As a HS freshman your son’s career goals are likely to change. He may discover he likes science better than history et al. He may get tired of Spanish. Be sure he is excited, not just willing to go along with, whichever choice he makes. That is the key to being successful.

From your grammar I suspect you are an immigrant (like my H). Relax. There are many ways for academically smart people to have happy and intellectually satisfying lives.

Students in TWBI program are not considered as gifted since it is just a regular school like English is in Singapore or India. Everybody just learns Two three languages. In TWBI program, Spanish is taught in any subject from Math, Social Studies, Science to PE. It is a more rigorous program than IB except it doesn’t have two diplomas like IB. TWBI Spanish will go deep in Spanish and ends at 2 years college level of Spanish plus certificate of translator.
At the same time, TWBI school offers AP classes while only a very few IB schools offer AP. The IB school in my area doesn’t teach AP at all.
TWBI is a brand new program by states and it aligns with Seal of Biliteracy. Kids in TWBI elementary/middle school can receive attainment & certificate for either service, participation and pathway. Kids in TWBI high school can receive Seal of Biliteracy in the diploma.

Thank you for the explanation @ServiceAcademy

But this still doesn’t answer my questions.

How old is your kiddo now?

What does he want to do?

And recognize that neither of your presented options will guarantee admission to the Ivies or Service Academies.

I care about how much TWBI school more important than IB school in the admission chance to top schools. I don’t want to discuss about anything irrelevant like age/grade/taste/wants in this thread. When I ask the question that means he targets to those school.

Ps: he wants to be a diver, unicycle player, boomeranger,

OP - I think this was already answered by one of the moderators: “But bottom line, at least for Ivy League colleges, both are rigorous, but one will not give “better admissions chances” over the other. He should choose that path that is right for him according to his own parameters.”

If he’s interested in language immersion than go with TWBI. If he wants an IB diploma, then go IB. His taste/wants absolutely should be the driving factor in this decision. His chances at the Ivies and Service academies are slim, as they are for every applicant. Don’t get too hung up on that. There are tons of amazing schools and for a hard working, intelligent applicant, they will find their path.

You can look at the stats to see if many IB students have been admitted to the academies, but since you said the TWBI program is new to the US, it’s unlikely many have been admitted out of such a program. In the school district my kids attended, there was one of the 6 high schools with an IB program (so you could go there if you wanted IB), and it was the school with the most students going to the academies and with ROTC scholarships. It was also ranked 4th of the high school academically so not that many transferred to that school just for IB, and athletically it was not as strong as the other schools. That high school had good contacts with the academy reps and knew how to get the applications going.

Probably the thing that would help more than IB or a second language in getting into an academy or Ivy is sports. Athletes have a much better chance of getting in than another student with the same academic resume. The classmate of my kids who went to Navy was a tennis player. One heading to Navy this year from a neighboring high school is a lacrosse player. Both are top athletes and could have had D1 scholarships to many schools.

I think another way to look at this is in reverse. Does either program take you out of the running for highly selective schools? I think the answer for IB is easy. It doesn’t. For TWBI, the question is harder to answer. From my brief research, it doens’t appear that TWBI is a series of classes. It is more that some classes are taught in each language. The question I would have is a student able to take the most rigorous classes offered and still be part of the TWBI program? If the school teaches some AP (or IB) classes in each language then it could be considered a rigorous schedule. If the TWBI programs somehow excludes the student from taking the rigorous courses, that could cause a problem when applying to highly selective colleges.

TWBI program/school like one way street, it doesn’t accept new kids coming in after first grade. If you are in the program and exit it, you can’t come back. Just like one way street without any entrance for the new comers.
TWBI offers AP or AP Capstone
IB (in my area) doesn’t offer AP Capstone.

If TWBI doesn’t accept new kids after first grade…then is your kiddo a rising first grader?

If so…your questions about college admissions potential are quite premature as the landscape could significantly change.

Lol, I wish I had a first grader now. It would apply for him to the brand new school by my house. I am looking forward to having more kids before my expiration day.
Ok, my kid now is not in 1st grade or close.

@ServiceAcademy the problem here is there are many “experts” on giving advice about law school, service academies, ivies, etc., but no one on this thread so far knows squat about TWBI, so unfortunately you probably won’t get your answer here.

According to the OP, this is a new curriculum. That being the case, there would be no track record on college admissions.