Jun 12, 2019
Hello all, I need to finalize my college list ASAP and want to add a few finishing touches before burrowing my head into supplemental application essays.

I most likely will pursue pre-med (as a biochem major), but I am not 100% sure about med school and want to have at least a backup plan in case my plans don't unfold as I want them to.

I am looking for a school where I can survive the brutal weed out classes and still be a competitive med school applicant. However, I don't want to attend a crazy easy school, since if I decide not to do pre-med, I may be done for in terms of career potential.

I also hope to get generous merit aid (i.e. full ride), so that I can actually afford med school without drowning in debt after graduation. Need based aid for me is pretty much out of the question.

In terms of the college experience, I am simply looking for nice undergrad research and chances to know professors well (so I can obtain great rec letters).

Just a bit about me: Asian male in CA, 1520 SAT, 4.55W/4.00UW GPA, 5s in 6 APs, Math II and Chem SAT: 800

Pretty decent extracurriculars (all heavily STEM related), but not really premed focused. Participated in two medical related clubs for 4 years, but they weren't really time commitments.

If y'all have any suggestions for colleges I should consider (that may match with my stats and preferences), then I would be happy to hear about them. Thanks!


The Real PG
Gold Donor
7+ Year Member
May 10, 2012
Medical Student
Hi @wbssummer

I'd suggest that wherever you feel the most comfortable and also receive better financial aid would be your best bet for your path. As long as you go to a decent 4-year university (in-state, out of state, private/public) it will serve well for your pre-med plan as well as your back-up plan (if need be). I wouldn't over think it, but I would start to narrow down some areas you would like to consider applying to because there is a plethora of schools to attend for undergraduate studies. So it would be hard to suggest a list of specific colleges tailored for you.


7+ Year Member
Aug 24, 2012
Medical Student
The cheapest school with good resources.
May 2, 2019
Resident [Any Field]
Your academics look really good. It sounds like you want a curriculum that is challenging but not too intense. When you visit college campuses and interview, ask about financial aid packages based on merit and research opportunities. Maybe ask about faculty to student ratio as well if that helps. And extracurricular activities and clubs as college is a great time to explore your interests and meet people.