[title size=”2″]COUNSELING SERVICES[/title]

[tabs tab1=”Initial Consultation” tab2=”Seniors and Juniors” tab3=”Sophomores and Freshmen” tab4=”International Students” tab5=”Additional Support” layout=”horizontal”]
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[fontawesome icon=”fa-laptop” circle=”yes” size=”large”]An Arts-Ed Plus Initial Consultation is the first step toward successfully organizing and completing your college applications. Your arts and academic counselors will meet with you and your parents—in person or online—to get to know you and learn about your intended arts concentration, previous and current training, college and career goals, extracurricular activities, broader interests, awards, etc. We review your coursework, current class schedule and grades so, for us to be most effective, we would like copies of your transcript, your test scores and a completed student questionnaire prior to your initial consultation. Unofficial transcripts and test scores are fine for now. Additionally, you may send audio and video files so we can evaluate your work. With that combined profile in mind we can begin to consider the schools best suited to your arts and academic achievements and design a blueprint for the remainder of your high school experience.

To get started please fill out and submit the family inquiry form found in Contact Us. Once we receive your request we will contact you (by whatever method you have requested) and together we can decide if an initial consultation is an appropriate next step. This appointment is a single meeting of about an hour and is appropriate for freshman, sophomore, junior and senior students. If you and your family decide that the ARTS-ED PLUS Junior/Senior counseling option is right for you, we will create a carefully considered list of schools with rationales for each and estimates of your chances of admission to these schools. The fee for this meeting can be applied to your extended service. If you are a freshman or sophomore teaming up with us we can start checking out your extracurricular activities, community service, possible intensives and summer camps, and other resume-building ideas.


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[fontawesome icon=”fa-laptop” circle=”yes” size=”large”]Juniors or seniors wishing extended Arts-Ed Plus counseling services may enroll anytime beginning in the summer after the junior year and services usually end after graduation for seniors. Arts-Ed Plus works with you and your family—in office conferences, online, via email or by phone—to explain and assist in all parts of the written application including Common or Unified apps, essays, resumes, portfolios and other supplemental materials. We help develop a time line for your entire process, advise you on testing dates and monitor all aspects of your audition including repertoire, monologue and song choices and the like.

Juniors, get on board now! We can advise you on summer training, senior coursework requirements related to the schools you like, standardized testing prep and offer advice on how and when to plan college visits. You have the luxury of additional time to investigate the steps necessary to increase your opportunities. If you are already a senior we can help you too. Contact us for more information.

We are sensitive to the financial needs many families face and can discuss financial aid and options with you. The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is available to families on January 1 of each year and must be completed by March 1. Income taxes must be completed before the FAFSA can be completed. Arts-Ed Plus holds a financial aid webinar each year to help senior families fill out these forms.


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[fontawesome icon=”fa-laptop” circle=”yes” size=”large”]Don’t get caught short! Start planning now. Arts-Ed Plus advises freshmen and sophomores academically and artistically, leading you toward your future and preparing you for the college admission process. Arts-Ed Plus counselors will help you build your resume, plan courses of study, and discuss the requirements needed to put you in the running for your college, university and career dreams.

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[fontawesome icon=”fa-laptop” circle=”yes” size=”large”]All of us at Arts-Ed Plus have extensive experience working with international students—those still at home wishing to come to the United States for boarding school or college, and those currently in boarding schools across this country hoping to continue schooling here. Our academic counselor is a Chinese speaker who can evaluate foreign transcripts to check requirements, determine U. S. equivalencies, analyze TOEFL scores and make recommendations about academic preparedness for schools in America. Online we can become familiar with international families and provide the help needed to complete an art school application. We strongly recommend that Arts-Ed Plus services for international students begin in the freshman or sophomore year.

We are equally well equipped to assist families looking for the perfect boarding school environment for their high school student and know the academic and artistic strengths of all of them. [/tab]

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[fontawesome icon=”fa-laptop” circle=”yes” size=”large”]We want our clients to have access to the best information and training out there, so we offer information sessions locally and online with college admission directors, financial aid officers, admission office essay readers and arts teachers and coaches. We hold mock auditions with guest judges, dance intensives, music coaching and monologue boot camps, all depending on the work you need to be your best. Check this website for what’s coming up.

If you are local, we have access to a recording studio and a sound technician with years of experience making pre-screen and audition CDs and DVDs.

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[title size=”2″]ARTS-ED PLUS BLOG[/title]
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[title size=”2″]WHAT OUR STUDENTS SAY[/title]
[testimonial name=”Angel Valchinov” gender=”female” company=”Boston University College of Fine Arts, MM, 2007; DMA, 2010″ link=”” target=””]”When I first came to the US, I had no friends, no family, and very little English. I was in a state of shock, but Nelms made it incredibly easy for me to understand what is necessary to become my best. Nelms’ knowledge of the current level of performing arts colleges, students, and faculty is matched by few. His passion has driven me to aspire for the best, and anyone who has spent time with him feels the same. I am confident that because of Nelms, my life is more focused, more directed, more exceptional.”[/testimonial]

[testimonial name=”Deyana Valchinova” gender=”female”
company=”Graduate Performance Diploma—Boston Conservatory of Music, 2014″ link=”” target=””]”My name is Deyana Valchinova and I graduated from the Idyllwild Arts Academy. For three years there I studied piano under the instruction of Nelms McKelvain. With his teaching and counseling I was excellently prepared for my college auditions and was accepted into world-renowned conservatories of music such as the Royal Academy of Music in London, Manhattan School of Music in NYC, the New England Conservatory, the Boston Conservatory, and the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. From all the schools I was accepted to I chose to go to the Oberlin Conservatory. I am endlessly grateful for all of Mr. McKelvain’s work, devotion and care.”[/testimonial]

[testimonial name=”Howard Cheng” gender=”male”
company=”Idyllwild Arts Academy, 2014″ link=”” target=””]”I am a recent graduate of Idyllwild Arts Academy and I will be attending The Juilliard School next fall. In the past four years I’ve had a wonderful study environment and a wonderful college counseling system. I especially have to thank Mr. Nelms McKelvain. I remember meeting Nelms for the first time with his charming smile and a very decent smell of espresso in my freshmen year. He was always like a dad, asking me about how school was going and if I needed any help. Besides being like a family member, he is also a wonderful pianist. I still remember the time that I rehearsed a Chopin nocturne with him. He gave me countless tips from a pianist’s point of view to help me play this transcribed piece. During my senior year he helped me with all parts of my college application process and gave me the best advice on all the major conservatories in the U.S, so I got a deeper understanding of which schools I could choose from. I will always appreciate the help that I got from him as a counselor, person and mentor.”[/testimonial]

[testimonial name=”Vivian Fan” gender=”female”
company=”Colburn Conservatory” link=”” target=””]”Nelms is the kind of person who took the time to help me fill out every line on the application forms to summer festivals, competitions and colleges before my English was good enough. Nelms is the kind of mentor who drove hours to hear my performances after I graduated. Not once, but several times. Nelms invested in me because he believed in me. I would not have the career I have at Colburn Conservatory today without him.”[/testimonial]

[testimonial name=”Asa Benally” gender=”female”
company=”Technical Theatre Major” link=”” target=””]”Nelms was the first person to interview me. I showed him my portfolio that I had essentially patched together and attempted to discuss my artistic process as best I could. Over the course of the interview we focused on the possibilities of my craft. That day he saw the potential I had. My artistic journey really started with that first meeting.”[/testimonial]

[testimonial name=”Tori Bonn” gender=”female”
company=”mother of Yasmin Bonn Graduate of Brockus Dance Conservatory” link=”” target=””]”When it was time for Yasmin to begin auditioning for college, without Deborah’s guidance we would never have known where to start. It is one thing to read glossy websites and look at past accomplishments of the various schools. It is completely different case with Deborah knowing the current directors of each dance department and whether or not that school is living up to its reputation. She takes into consideration each dancer’s level and desires and pairs them up well. Because of Deborah’s knowledge, not only in the states but in Europe also, Yasmin auditioned and was accepted in several schools but chose Codarts, Rotterdam Netherlands and is extremely happy. Thanks again, Deborah!”[/testimonial]