1. University of Pittsburgh. In looking at the department specializations, this is the one I like the best. They have specializations in Teaching English as a Second Language (my current minor), Native American languages (a really hot linguistic field right now), and American Sign Language (which I've always wanted to learn). I also don't think I would have a problem getting into this school (with some of the others on this list, that might be an issue). The only problem is - you guessed it - that they don't seem to offer much financial aid, even though their tuition is $24,000. That's a problem, especially if I go for a master's, because many graduate programs will give you nothing unless you're doing a Ph.D. I'm still wavering on that. However, another cool thing is that I e-mailed the swim coach in a moment of insanity and asked what he'd look for in a walk-on swimmer, and he said he'd love to have me. I doubt graduate students are eligible for athletic scholarships, but you never know; if they are, that could help. But anyway, the bottom line is that this is my current top choice, but the age-old question of money remains.
2. Harvard. Might as well shoot for the top, hey? They only offer the Ph.D, but they would pay for essentially everything. Also, tuition drops from $30,000 (for the first two years) to $10,000 (for the second two years) and finally to $5,000. The only catch is that I'd have to do some teaching, which doesn't really appeal to me. Well, that and getting in in the first place. We'll see.
3. Yale. See above. Except that their tuition is steady at $26,000. I wouldn't be paying it, though, so that's okay.
4. Brown. This is another one which appeals to me; they have not only a Ph.D in Linguistics, but a related one in Cognitive Science (like neurolinguistics). The tuition cracks 30k, but drops to 4k after the first three years, and they seem to offer considerable aid. I would have to teach, though.
5. Georgetown. They have a much larger, older and more established program than I realized; it seems to be a staple of their Arts and Sciences college. However, they're another one like Pittsburgh - not much aid. And the tuition is even higher than Pittsburgh - almost 30k. I think I'll have to let this one go for financial reasons, but it does look appealing.
6. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I didn't know they had such a good linguistics department, but apparently they do. They don't offer much aid, but since they're a state school, tuition is a lot lower than most of these others. My mentality has generally been "why go to a state school in another state when I can just stay at UF?", but I've always liked North Carolina (went to camp there for eight years) and I wouldn't necessarily be averse to going here. It can be a safety.
7. Rice. I really don't like the idea of going to school in Texas, but they offer both degrees and a lot of aid, and their tuition is middle-of-the-road ($21,000). I'll keep the option open.
8. Stanford. They only offer the Ph.D, their tuition is over $31,000, and the chances of financial aid aren't as good as at some of the others... plus, they're way out in California. I think this one is getting scratched.
9. University of Texas at Austin. They offer both degrees (the M.A. and the Ph.D) and the tuition is pretty low... but once again, odd as it may sound, I really don't want to go to school in Texas, especially if it's just a lowly state school. I don't think I'll be applying here.
10. University of Florida. Obviously, they're not going to turn me away, and the costs would certainly be less, since I'd be staying in-state. As a 'continuing student', I might even be up for some extra awards. But we don't have a linguistics department here - just a 'program'. That's okay for undergrad, but for graduate work, I want something more extensive. Also, there's the usual problem of hearing the same theories and ideas as during my undergrad, since I'll be working with the same professors.
What do you guys think?