Any advice?

Hi, so I am a high school senior who applied to 9 schools total: JHU, Duke, Boston University, WASHU, UF, USF, Emory, NYU, and Uchicago. I was extremely confident that i would get into all except chicago and duke. I have a weighted gpa of a 4.6, (unweighted 3.9) have taken 12 AP classes (AP scholar with distinction), top ten in my class, will graduate high school 8 credits short of my Associate’s degree through dual enrollment, got an ACT score of 32, have over 350 hours of volunteering, several community awards, have been accepted into a really prestigious surgical summer program, etc. Basically I was extremely confident because I tailored my applications to the admissions process itself. My essays were great, and the only place I was lacking in was that maybe I am not interesting enough? I don’t really know. Anyways, I got rejected from all except UF, Boston and USF (who basically gave me a full ride). I was waitlisted by Emory and NYU. I wanted to go to BU but they expect my family to contribute 40,000 and there’s no way we can provide that and I’m only eligible for 6,000 in loans. I chose to remain on the waitlist for both emory and NYU and am waiting to hear back. In the meantime I put a deposit down at USF where i will be in the honors college. However, I am still holding out hope to be accepted into one of the two waitlists.
But now I have a problem. Which of the three are the best for pre-med: USF, NYU, or emory? What i’m looking for in a pre-med undergraduate program is one that is not extremely cutthroat (yes I know pre-med is competitive, but I’m talking sabotaging cutthroat, if i am in a program like that I will become like that and I know myself; I am way too competitive and would probably end up stepping on others to get ahead, I would like to avoid turning into that person if possible) has a lot of internship and shadowing opportunities, lots of research opportunities (so i can get published) and prepares me well for the MCAT. Maybe it won’t be an option because I may get rejected from both, but for now lets say that i somehow get accepted off the waitlist for both, which of the three is what I’m looking for in an institution?
That is my first question, however, I have a second question: If i go to USF, which is a great school, has a lot of research and clinical experience opportunities because of TGH and Moffitt, will I still have a good chance of getting into a top ten medical school? USF is a state public school, so I feel that I am at a disadvantage if I don’t go to a top 20-30 undergraduate institution like NYU or emory. I understand that there are students that get accepted from state public schools into med schools like harvard and duke, but those are usually the outstanding applicants, and while I will strive to be no less than outstanding, I want to know that i will have a good chance. Because it seems to me that if I were a med school admissions officer at a top ten med school choosing between two applicants with the same qualifications: one from harvard and one from USF, I would choose the harvard one. This is the exact reason why I feel I need to go to a top 20-30 institution, so I can get into a top 10 med school and get matched with my first residency choice, because again, if i were accepting residency applicants and one was from an ivy league med school and the other was from USF morsani and both had the same qualifications, I would take the ivy league student.
Can anyone ease my worries? I am aiming to become a surgeon as of now, but who knows? I might do a clinical rotation in med school and shift towards a different field. But because I want surgery, it is important that I get this right because there are only a few residency spots open in the nation every year, and I feel like those spots are gonna go to the ones from top med schools like harvard and stanford. Also, just out of curiosity so I don’t make the same mistakes in the future, can anyone give me any possible reasons as to why i was rejected from the schools?

Thanks in advance!

Go to USF and do well in UG (GPA > 3.75 ) and MCAT ( >516). You will probably get into a Medical School. You are thinking too far ahead. Take baby step first - great GPA and great MCAT score. Low ACT 32 and GPA 3.9 in HS.

Residency directors will look at what you did in the medical school NOT at your UG school. Get in to a good medical school after UG.

The MCAT and GPA aren’t what I’m most worried about because I’m such a perfectionist I don’t plan on settling for anything less than a 3.75 or a 518 MCAT. I’m aiming for a 3.85 gpa, and a 520 MCAT. I’ve already covered a lot of the MCAT topics (Psychology, Sociology, Bio I and II, Chem I and II, and some physics) so I’m confident that I will have a good start when it comes time to study for it. What I’m more worried about is that top ten schools will take applicants from their own UG over me. And just to update, my gpa recalculated under the university system is a 4.4. 3.9 is without the AP weighting and 4.6 is with my electives factored in. The gpa that the admissions committees would see is the 4.4. And I forgot to also add that I am in 4 honors clubs and an officer of NHS at my school. I also have done a sport competitively and at the varsity level throughout high school.

NYU probably won’t be affordable if you get in. They don’t give very good aid. Save your money for mad school. Go to USF.

“i’m looking for in a pre-med undergraduate program is one that is not extremely cutthroat (yes I know pre-med is competitive, but I’m talking sabotaging cutthroat,”

I think that this is quite sensible, and well worded. There are indeed multiple levels of cutthroat. I worked for a few years in an area which was mildly cutthroat. I was fine with it (sort of enjoyed it) but it wouldn’t be for everyone, and “House of Cards” level of cutthroat would not be comfortable IMHO.

“can anyone give me any possible reasons as to why i was rejected from the schools?”

Your stats look to be very similar to my older daughter. She didn’t expect to get into the schools that you didn’t get into. She has a friend who went to U.Chicago but his stats were better. I think that there are just too many very strong students and too much competition for pre-med.

“I feel I need to go to a top 20-30 institution, so I can get into a top 10 med school”

But, getting high grades is very tough at the top universities. I have experience myself at MIT, and occasionally hear from my daughter’s friends at U.Chicago and Wash U. and other schools. I think that you will get better grades at USF than you would have gotten at Chicago which will offset any “prestige” advantage of the top ranked schools. Premed will be tough enough at USF. It won’t be like high school. I watched and occasionally helped my daughter pull off what I have called “the toughest A- ever earned” in high school (an AP history class). She tells me that her B in premed organic chemistry in university was several times harder, and she is at a school which is probably not so far away from USF in ranking.

From what I have heard, pretty much every medical school in the US is excellent. I don’t think that you need to get into a top 10 medical school. Nonetheless, you want to do as well as you can in premed.

Financial aid is relatively rare for students who are accepted off the waitlist. Can you afford to go to your waitlisted schools without financial aid? If you are going for medical school, you would be better off minimizing loans for undergrad. It seems to me that USF does this for you and has all of the advantages that you mentioned. Good luck with this, and remember that it is a marathon, and not a sprint. From your post it looks to me that you are very likely to do very well at USF.

“Save your money for mad school.”

Is this a typo, or is “mad school” a euphemism for “med school”? If intentional, I sort of like it.

From what I have heard, emory gives just as much financial aid if your are accepted off the wait list than if your were admitted, so with the aid I will likely get, yes i will be able to afford it. NYU, however, I would have to see.