Your school of choice as an undergrad isn’t that big of a deal!
Often, young high school students ask me what the top pre med colleges are. They come to me with statistics on placement rates, average MCAT scores, graduating GPAs of successful applicants, and other such information. They think that these numbers are the most important factor, and seem to believe that graduating from a certain school will guarantee or drastically improve their chances of getting into medical school. This is not the case! Even if you attended Harvard it would not be that big of a deal! As long as you are attending a real school with a decent reputation, your chances of gaining entrance to medical school will depend primarily on how and what you do as an undergraduate and your test scores more than anything else.
Choose a school that clicks with you.
Okay, I’ve explained to you why school choice isn’t that big of a deal. Do you know what is a big deal, though? Your grades. Do you know what one of the most lethal destroyers of transcripts is? Depression. There’s no use in attending a top tier university if you hate it so much that you find yourself unable to concentrate or study and find yourself graduating with an awful GPA. Go somewhere that you like. Studies have shown that happiness and well-being correlate positively with academic achievement. Don’t make this decision robotically, based on stats and numbers! Enjoying learning and attending school will have a much greater positive effect than a two spot higher ranking on the USNews list. If you want to attend a smaller school, do so. Feeling decent is so much more important than sight differences in reputation!
Choose a good academic match.
The SAT scores and GPAs of admitted students for almost every school can be found online. While not perfect, these will be a good measure of the general intellectual environment of a pre med college. Relating back to the whole “Go to a school that you like” thing, you’re going to want to go to a school that also will challenge you without pushing you too far academically. It’s no good if every class is way beyond your level of understanding and you can’t keep up. It’s also no good if you’re way too smart and breeze through everything without any effort (although it might be fun.) You really want to go somewhere that is a good match for you.
The final word:
With all that said, however, the list of the top premed schools (for whatever small amount that counts for) would be very similar to your typical US university ranking. Your Princetons, your Harvards, your MITs and your Berkeleys are all safe bets.