Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: How much does it cost a family for a student to pursue the IB Diploma?

    A: The cost is minimal. Two of our IB science classes require a $20.00 lab fee. There is also a one-time $20.00 registration fee. The maximum out-of-pocket cost for a family is $60.00. Currently, the Peoria Unified School District covers the cost of all IB exams. We are thankful, for not all school districts pay for their students’ exams. In other districts, students and parents have to pay the fees, and each IB exam costs $119.00.

    Q: Can an IB student also participate in Performing Arts/Sports/Extracurricular Activities?

    A: YES! We encourage our IB scholars to participate in a host of activities. Historically, most Ironwood IB students participate in extracurricular activities throughout their high school experiences. We certainly strive to provide an exceptional academic experience, but we also want to provide our students with wonderful experiences outside of the classroom. Having fun is important, too. 

    Q:  What is the deadline for the IB application and can my student shadow or tour Ironwood before applying?

    A: All answers that pertain to the question of deadlines and student shadowing or touring

    Q: Is the IB Diploma highly regarded by colleges/universities?

    A: All answers that pertain to the question of how colleges/universitys regard the IB diploma.  

    Q: Do IB students earn college/university credits?

    A: Most colleges and universities award credit for high scores on IB examinations, so the short answer is yes. A student who graduates from Ironwood with an IB Diploma can earn, for example, 32 credits at Arizona State University, which means the student effectively enters ASU, in terms of completed credit hours, as a sophomore. The amount of credit ASU awards IB students is based on students’ scores on individual IB exams.

    A useful tool for determining how Arizona colleges/universities award credit.

    Q: What are the differences between AP classes and IB classes?

    A: The most distinct difference is that IB is a program of study. The various courses and requirements that comprise a student’s IB coursework are aligned—in terms of curriculum—with one another. IB is one program of study. AP courses stand alone; there is no integration between them.

    Advanced Placement Program

    International Baccalaureate Program

    • National standard of excellence
    • AP consists of independent courses for students who may excel in only one or two academic disciplines
    • College level courses
    • AP scores are based solely on the AP exam
    • AP exams are multiple choice and short-answer or essay exams
    • Exams are based on in-depth mastery of specific concepts within a given subject
    • Any student may take AP exams; IB students may take AP exams
    • AP teachers work within their discipline, they are independent of other academic areas
    • AP recognizes high achievement on AP exams through the AP scholars’ program
    • Policies are determined by national educators


    • International standard of excellence
    • IB is a 2 year, well-rounded education program with six areas of study, an extended essay, TOK and CAS
    • Comprehensive curriculum of college level work
    • IB scores are based on classroom work and on IB exams
    • IB exams are all short answer or essay exams
    • Exams are based on broad general understanding of concepts and fundamental themes
    • Only IB students enrolled in IB courses may take IB exams and receive IB credit
    • IB teachers work as a team to connect curriculum across the disciplines
    • Successful IB candidates receive an IB diploma for the full program or IB certificate for individual courses taken
    • Opportunities exist for the participation of the teacher and local school in shaping curriculum and international policies

    If you have further questions, please e-mail Mr. Curtis at