Hi there! I need help to find a college/uni with a robust linguistics major/department. There are rankings on the internet, but it seems they were compiled haphazardly, because the criteria are not well-defined, and the results vary so wildly that sometimes a college deemed 1st in linguistics on a site doesn’t even make the list on another.
A bit background and why I chose linguistics
Several years ago, I first read about the idea of International Auxiliary Language (IAL) - the thing that Esperanto aspires to become - and became convinced that a good IAL will bring immense benefits to the world. The details are out of the scope of this topic, but I believe it’s many times bigger than, say, the benefits of the internet.
I figured that in order to succeed as an IAL, a tongue must be culturally-neutral, scientific and efficient - things that no existing natural ones satisfy. Even Esperanto fails in these aspects. Thus, we need to come up with a brand new language. The problem is, doing that requires a huge coordinated effort from experts in various disciplines, otherwise it’d repeat the flaws of Esperanto all over again.
But the core of the vast knowledge needed is still linguistics. That’s why my choice is pretty clear. But there’s a catch. I’m kind of a nontraditional student in that my age is almost doubling that of those entering college this year. The facts that I’m a non-US citizen and my previous school doesn’t have any semblance of GPA don’t help, either.
OK, here is some info:
- I’m definitely low income by US standard. I can afford to pay max ~107k for total 4 years, all types of cost included. But that’d bleed dry my life’s saving, so 55k is a more realistic number.
- My priorities are listed in descending order of importance:
- Linguistics (40%)
- Environment where it’s easy to make connections with talented people from different fields (30%)
- Reputation, the higher the better (20%)
- A policy favoring daring projects and research (10%)
- Warmer climate (actually, 0%, but still a factor if it comes down to 2 equal choices)
- I tried ACT and got 33 in single sitting, which was a bit unfortunate since my practice scores included 34 & 35. If I take SAT, it’s likely the result will be better.
Could you provide me with 1 safe choice, 5-6 targets and 2-3 reaches? Also, in the perfect scenario where I were a flawless student with stellar record and got unlimited financial aid/merit scholarship, what is the highest reach you’d recommend, i.e. the very best linguistic college in the world? Thank you!