Questions and Chances - Master of Arts in TESOL / Linguistics

<p>I have a B.S. in Biological Anthropology with a minor in Biology, magna cum laude, from the George Washington University. My official GPA is a 3.77, but when courses from transfer institutions are factored in, it raises closer to a 3.82. My major GPA is also in this range.</p>

<p>I had originally planned to pursue a Ph.D. in Anthropology, and took the GRE for this purpose. However, I eventually came to the decision that I wanted to teach abroad and work in the sector of education. As a result, I am looking into M.A. programs in TESOL (Teaching English as a Second Language), some of which are listed as English and Linguistics degrees.</p>

<p>My GRE Scores are quite high, especially for my program of study: Verbal - 710 (97%ile), Quantitative - 760 (81%ile), Analytical Writing - 4.5 (73%ile). </p>

<p>As a major in Biological Anthropology, I have some coursework in linguistics - mostly lower level. Because of my interest (I am half-Hispanic and a native speaker of Spanish), I also took some upper level Spanish composition and literature classes. Most of my upper level classes, however, are in the field of science and archaeology.</p>

<p>All of the programs I am looking at allow any undergraduate major to join, so long as certain requirements are met, such as significant coursework in a second language, and sometimes an introductory linguistics courses. I meet these requirements.</p>

<p>So far, I am deciding to apply to 5 schools: University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois State University, University of Maryland, and American University. As an Illinois resident, I am focusing on state schools in Illinois because I have very little funding and will need inexpensive tuition and/or close to full funding. </p>

<p>So I am wondering -- for anyone who has insight/experience, what are my chances of acceptance into these programs? Do you have any advice regarding them or other programs?</p>

<p>I am also wondering if the following circumstances have a significant impact on my application, and if I should explain anything when applying. Although my GPA is quite high, in my last year/semester, I had one withdrawal from a class (which was independent study -- there were various circumstances which prevented me from accessing the research I needed to complete this class) and a C- in an upper level biology class. This was largely due to a family emergency in which one of my family members was hospitalized and given less than a year to live. In the process, my family lost our house and my mother had to quit her job. This is, incidentally, a lage part of the reason I really need to receive financial aid or pay instate tuition. Loans are out of the question due to religious beliefs regarding paying interest.</p>

<p>I appreciate anyone's feedback and help.</p>

<p>Thanks</p>

<p>Your GPA is excellent and a couple withdrawal/C- grades are not going to sink your application at all.</p>

<p>Nobody does “chances” for graduate school, but I would be shocked if you weren’t a highly competitive candidate for any of those programs.</p>

<p>Funding is tough to come by for a master’s program, particularly a teaching-oriented MA such as TESOL. I think you’re smart to focus on your in-state schools.</p>

<p>Thanks for the response. As for funding, I am trying to make sure the schools (including those that are instate) I apply to do offer financial aid (in the form of scholarships and teaching assistantships) for Master’s students. However, I understand it will in no way be guaranteed. </p>

<p>I would also appreciate anyone else’s feedback.</p>

<p>There is also an odd question I was hoping someone might elucidate for me on U of I at Urbana-Champaign’s application:</p>

<p>The application requires that I answer this: “I must receive financial aid in order to enroll: [ ] Yes or [ ] No”</p>

<p>It is not a simple question to answer honestly (because while it would certainly be extremely difficult for me to attend without financial aid, I cannot say for certain if it would be impossible for me, since there are many factors that are yet to be determined) and it seems like a double-edged sword. If I answer “No” does that mean I lose priority for aid? And if I answer yes, does that mean that I forgo an acceptance despite being qualified?</p>

<p>I aim to answer this question honestly, but I simply don’t know my answer yet. I’ve never seen this type of question before on an academic app.</p>