As May 1st is approaching, I'm becoming more and more nervous. I would love your help!. I'm having difficulties deciding which school would be the best fit. I'm interested in doing premed(in which case I'll probably do BME/Materials Science) and CS. I understand that CS at CMU is the best probably; however premed is probably best at WashU? or Berkeley? Also Berkeley has offered me the Regents Scholarship which, this year for the first time, allows priority in course selection and a $2,500 scholarship. Though I don't know how prestigious that scholarship is. No other schools offered me financial aid. Northwestern is a school that is great in academics I think, but I don't know where it stands in terms of CS or BME. I loved WashU when I went, but I guess there's only BME to study there. I don't know...
I've always wanted to go to a school which is prestigious, academic, great social scene, diverse, and accepting of LGBTQ.
Which is better?
You can have ANY major and still go to med school as long as you take the required undrgrad classes. When I was in this same situation 30+ years ago, I called my dream med school and asked them which of the 3 colleges presented the strongest candidates. They were a little shocked (I don't think anyone else had done that before) but did give their recommendation.
Although I believed it made a huge difference where one went to undergrad when I was looking all those years ago, today I would say just do well, talk early with the pre-med adviser and either place would be fine.
Perhaps one last question for the schools would be to ask to speak to the pre-med ad-visor and see how much attention you get!
And then go with your gut!
It's hard for me to offer very detailed advice, as I'm none too familiar with the other schools you're considering. However, I can say despite the fact that it doesn't matter a great deal where you do pre-med, WashU does have one of the highest med school acceptance rates for its premed undergrads. Also, there are plenty of resources here in terms of research, job shadowing, internships, etc. the advising here is great as well. As for LGBT acceptance, I have had no problems whatsoever since coming here. But I'm also quite sure that's the case at the other schools you listed.
Long story short: they are all great schools, and I'm positive you'll find everything you want in terms of academics, social life, and diversity from each of them. Some more things that you might want to consider include location, food and dorms (#1 food and temperpedic mattresses at WashU, just saying), and possibly even athletics.
Just so everyone knows, 50% of premeds drop out... it's either too rough or medicine isn't for them. You may think that's not me, but so did everyone else. If you really want to go school x, but think school y is better for premed, really think about if you're truely dedicated, have good discipline to get good grades, etc.
You can't go wrong with any of your choices. (Although CMU CS is really cool with the number of different majors you can do)
(Although I wouldn't pay OOS for Berk if you're not in Cali)
To be fair, at least in my experience, those at Wash U who did not end up completing pre-med did so because of two reasons: 1) grades weren't as high as they hoped; 2) legitimately, and independently, realized that they'd rather study something else than pre-med. Some of those kids ended up doing another science major and did just fine; others went in a completely different direction.
The pre-med drop out rate is high at any college. Lots of people come to college wanting to be a doctor but don't quite understand the significant amount of really advanced chemistry and bio (and physics) required to get to that point. Perhaps the rate is higher at Wash U than the average college (maybe not though?), but I doubt it's going to be any higher at Wash U than the other great schools the OP is considering.
OP, while I don't refute any of what marcdvl said, I think it's well-advised to interpret his post as "really do your due diligence on pre-med and science programs" than anything specifically negative about Wash U.
Also, don't let the "strength" of each school in each program direct your own major choice. Major in what you want wherever you end up going. All of these schools have programs in all areas you mentioned. Wash U will certainly have the leg up when in comes to flexibility of studying/combining multiple areas.