A non-believer: Linguistics

<p>Hey people! I really want to transfer into a college with an excellent linguistics department. However, I'm looking for one that has a decent education and can be affordable.
So, if you wanna post, here are my questions:</p>

<li>excellence and a budget: is it possible? (if so, where?)</li>
<li>my dad doesn't think linguistics leads to a real job even though our world is becoming more globalized. He thinks I'm wasting my money and would be better off doing something else. He says he doesn't know any linguists, I say JRR Tolken was one, and then he says, "just write a book". I say it can help me go into other fields such as psychology, business, computers, and law, and he says why not just become a lawyer/economist. etc. can ANYONE make him understand?</li>
<li>I slacked off in high school and didn't shoot for the highest scores even though I have plenty of potential and am excited about all the aspects of linguistics. Any merciful colleges out there?</li>