Question: I am currently a high school junior, interested in majoring in pre-med and ultimately going to medical school. I have good grades and test scores and have been taking rigorous classes, and I hope to go to University of Illinois. There are many private schools I would like to go to, but, frankly, they're way out of my budget and U of I seems like a better fit for me. However, I'm concerned that I'll have trouble competing for acceptance into the top medical schools with students from more prestigious undergraduate colleges like Harvard, Stanford, or Duke. What are your opinions?
Medical schools--just like undergraduate colleges--seek diversity in each incoming class. This “diversity" includes not only racial or ethnic diversity but also means admitting students who hail from a variety of undergrad alma maters. So if you are highly successful at Illinois and score well on the MCAT, you can certainly compete with applicants from the "elite" colleges. Keep in mind, too, that demonstrating interest and success in the medical field via research projects, internships, etc. will help your candidacy as well.