You’re African-born, so not really culturally a US African-American, unless you have been here a long time. Some schools will give you a URM bump, while others will not (or cannot) give preference based on race.
But regardless of whether race plays a role in your profile. you have had to overcome obstacles. We all do at sone point, but yours appears to have been fairly recent, right during high school, and plausibly led to your GPA being less than what it would have been under clearer skies.
You will want to get that SAT up for the most selective schools, or go TO – but if you go TO, the natural assumption is that your scores sucked, so… if i were in your shoes, i’d put in the study to get it up. you want to be 1500ish+ for the schools admitting <10%, to have a shot.
I think that two schools stick out like a golden thumb, a rainbow, for you in particular… and others beat me to it, so i guess i’m just confirming:
- U of Maryland. This is a very good school – your state flagship – and you’re probably okay to get in with your stats as they sit. They’re just fine in linguistics, and if you change your mind, there are tons of other academic avenues you could detour onto. That is one of the attractive things about big public schools. Fear the turtle.
2 Middlebury College. This is a languages gem, and they can admit based on race and other demographic factors currently. As a private school, they could admit based on any criteria they wanted to, within reason. Still – their middle-half SAT range for admitted students is like 1440-1500, and most admits’ GPA is above 3.8. You are lacking in both. With the time you have left in hs, get that gpa up as much as you can, try to max out your SAT (or try the ACT – do a free practice test to see if it fits you better), and throw your best app at middlebury. Caveat emptor: it’s a small school with cold winters in the bucolic middle of nowhere in new england. But man, you’ll have small class sizes, plenty of time with profs, resources galore at your beck and call, and a school dedicated to its undergrads. I don’t think a kid interested in linguistics/languages can do better than Midd, provided you own a warm coat and hat and can handle a beautiful rural environment. Snowball fights and ski wax.
If you qualify for Questbridge, go ahead and do it. Try for Stanford, Harvard, Princeton, Yale, UPenn, wherever. And you can do that anyway… throw apps at the dart board and hope that one hits the bullseye. You won’t be the first. lol
But you should, regardless of any big-reach schools you want to try for, consider Maryland and Middlebury. The former is your state flag, and the latter is a top-10 LAC that happens to be maybe – maybe – our best college for a lover of languages.