Will undergrad research help me get in a nice grad school?

<p>I am currently attending the University of South Carolina at Columbia. I have been accepted to a prestigious community called the Magellan Explorers Community which enables freshman to do fully funded (up to $2,000) research projects in a field of their choice and help get it published. If I do this, and continue to research heavily, all while maintaining a great GPA, will I be able to pursue grad school somewhere like UPenn or UChicago? From an average school to a great school?</p>

<p>Yes. Look at the PhD student bios at any top school.</p>