|Snow day pic taken in 2014 outside our Warren office.|
December 16, 2020
Good morning. I just completed my 400th Peloton ride (350+ hours with coach Wilpers in 3.5 years). There’s a lot I can say about the value of sports and fitness at any age, but I’ll just leave it that Peloton constantly reminds me of the power of a good coach to motivate improvement.
Foley Prep has been tutoring remotely for more than 8 years now, so the snowstorm should not disrupt your child’s progress. If you have a group session or 1-on-1 appointment, your Foley Prep tutor is ready to do it remotely. Eric, Steve, Jeff, I, or someone else will communicate with you today as we see how things develop. Northern New Jersey seems like it will get hit with snow later, so there is the potential to shift late afternoon and evening sessions earlier.
If today will be your child’s first day tutoring with us online, please be sure to see the information below about connecting with us online. While we use a variety of services (Google Meet, Zoom, MS Teams), my 20-something-year-old tutors prefer Discord, which is just as good, if not better, than the others.
Early Decision Success!
First of all, congratulations to those who got good news on their Early Decision colleges! This was a tough year to navigate, but the tried and true advice I’ve been giving has paid off for the vast majority of kids. As an old hand in admissions, I know this is not the time for me to take a victory lap, but there is much to celebrate.
If you do not apply early or did not get in to your ED school, there is still time. This has been a crazy year in admissions, for sure, so you are not alone. Colleges themselves are scrambling, so keep your head and you’ll end up in a great place.
Stanford REA success story triggers an idea
As in past years, Foley Prep Asmissions has gotten a few early Ivy admits, but the most interesting and instructive story is from a Stanford Restricted Early Action admit who found out she got in on Friday. Discretion dictates that I don’t reveal too much, but here’s an interesting element that might be useful to juniors who have yet to take an SAT or ACT. She chose Stanford as one of the schools to send one of the four free score reports you get as you register for the SAT. She did this for the two SAT tests she took: one in spring and the fall 2020. Each time she scored under 1500 and ultimately superscored under 1500. While she sent the scores to Stanford the first time without my advice, she send the second attempt directly with my advice.
Telling this candidate to send her scores directly came from my hunch that it may help her to show confidence in herself to send off scores sight unseen. Almost every private counselor would tell you not to send scores until you have seen them. We will soon be entering the post-covid test optional era, however, which may be similar in this one way when I applied to college in 1987: almost everyone sent colleges our SAT scores directly as we registered. No sense of gamesmanship. I know this is probably splitting hairs, but this girl took a different approach than the vast majority of privileged applicants in the past couple of decades. Most hedge SAT and ACT scores by looking at them first, then selecting which school to send them to, or to not send them at all.
Bottom line advice: if you think you tested well, consider sending SAT scores directly to your top choice colleges within 9 days after you take the test. Why within 9 days? Keep reading…
Who can use this advice at this point? Primarily juniors who have yet to take a test and are planning to prep for the spring exams. Because Foley Prep gives multiple mock exams each week in all of our locations, our students should have a good idea where they stand before they take the test, during the test, and after the test. Since you have up to 9 days after taking the SAT to decide whether to send the free score report, having a post-test follow-up conversation with me or your Foley Prep tutor would be essential.
Here’s the language from this CollegeBoard.com page on score reporting (emphasis mine):
Before Scores Are Released
You can send four free score reports to colleges every time you register for the SAT. This is the fastest way to send scores to colleges and scholarship programs—and there’s no fee. You can use your free score reports up to 11:59 p.m., U.S. Eastern Time, nine days after the test. If you’re eligible for an SAT fee waiver, you can send as many score reports as you want for free.
After Scores Are Released
If you’re sending scores after you get them, there’s a fee. But if you’re using a fee waiver, your score reports are still free after you get your scores. Now, if you have a junior who has already taken an SAT, don’t fret. I think this strategy is one that helped in this girl’s particular case and I do hate to generalize for everyone. Keep it in perspective: it’s splitting hairs and angle-shooting, so don’t fall into the trap that so many parents seem to fall in where they are looking for every possible angle while missing the big picture.
Important for SSAT and MCVSD at-home testers!
Please be sure to have a stable, strong WiFi connection without other users in your house eating up bandwidth! One of our SSAT students encountered this issue and it really threw off his game. Some parents have asked whether they can take tests at Foley Prep or in the atrium at Bell Works. I will look into this, but I’m leaning against it because of the potential for distraction or disqualifying bits like someone coming into view that the proctors may suspect has helped unfairly.
Foley Prep is expanding
We are opening our 8th office in Bridgewater in January! Our plans for 2 other offices are secret at the moment, because I am struggling with where I may end up teaching my online college classes this spring (Italy is top of the list, but probably unworkable). Right now we have excellent, tried-and-true faculty in all locations, which makes me very happy. Stay tuned, and, if you know any excellent tutor prospects, send them my way!
For those new to remote tutoring with Foley Prep: Get Connected to Foley Prep Online! Here is the information necessary to connect with us online:
Step 1 – Visit https://discordapp.com/ on the device you will be using to communicate. We recommend a device with a large screen.
Step 2 – Download and open the Discord desktop app. We strongly discourage using the Discord web app due to its instability.
Step 3 – Register for an account or login to an existing account.
Step 4 – Click this Foley Prep Online link to join our server.
Step 5 – If you are waiting for a session, sit tight and allow us to take it from there! Please send us a message in the #waiting-room if you need help.
We highly encourage students to use headphones or earbuds during the call so the audio feedback from the teacher’s voice will not impact the lesson. We’ve done our best to make this process as smooth as possible, and it only takes a few minutes to get connected.
If you have any questions please call our main line (732) 412-1416 or email the online tutoring director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks, as always, for your time. Enjoy the snow!
Ron Foley, M.S.
Doctoral Candidate, Rutgers University
Tenured Professor of Mathematics, Middlesex College
Member HECA, NJACAC, NACAC, NCTM, MAA, NAS, AMATCYNJ
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