Many thanks to all for the suggestions. I've talked with a couple of folks doing research, so I know there are places that are not as cut throat as others - for undergrad anyway. I just need to find them.
Mainly now I need to know some because this son has also been homeschooled since 7th grade - so I need to check with colleges to be sure he has all the proper testing they want (AP, SAT 2) to be competitive for entry. Feel free to diss the homeschooling aspect if you wish, but our local public high school simply doesn't make the grade (I work there). Yesterday they just took the PSAT. One of my son's best buddies and academic peers was in my room. I asked him after the test what he thought of it. He said 'hard.' I asked my son what he thought of it. He said 'easy.' I've seen enough students from our schools go to 'basic' colleges and not be able to hack it. I don't want the same for mine.
And as for the 'not cut throat,' that's a personality issue. This son is my middle son and is very much the peacekeeper by his nature. We joke that if anyone can solve the middle eastern problems, he will be it. While he's competitive in sports and with academics he is not when it comes to other people. College may - or may not - change that as he's been that way since birth (he DID give his toys to his siblings without crying).
John's Hopkins is one we were told not to even consider for undergrad. I'll have to check to see if the Baylor they meant was the undergrad or the med school... Rice had been mentioned too - I forgot that one.
And I'll check into Hope. I had told him he'd be unlikely to get what he wanted AND Christian. It'd be great if I were proven wrong...
I'll also check ND as he seems drawn to areas without as much research already done. We are not Catholic, but I'm thinking that isn't as much of an issue with Catholic colleges? However, I went to a secular school and kept my faith - it actually got stronger - so I'm certainly not opposed to that for my offspring if that's where the best education for him is.