I’ve had the distinct pleasure of working with Peggy closely for years with two different children, both of whom have distinctly different personalities and strengths. My daughter, Sophie,started working with Peggy her junior year of high school. Sophie has always been efficient and highly motivated. She knew from the onset that she wanted to attend an undergraduate business program. Together with Peggy, she reviewed her preassembled list of schools and narrowed the list based on Peggy’s recommendations. She even added one school to the list based on Peggy’s passionate advice. We visited several schools and it turned out that her top choice was Peggy’s recommendation. Once she knew where she wanted to go, Peggy gave her very specific targets for standardized test scores and grades that would facilitate her admission. When her SAT score fell a little short, Peggy strongly encouraged her to retake the test, even though that was the last thing Sophie wanted to do. Ultimately, Peggy’s advice proved to be correct, as Sophie hit her target on the second attempt. Peggy and her team then helped Sophie edit her personal statement and supporting essays to deliver the exact message she hoped to convey. Ultimately, Sophie ended up getting into her dream school, Washington University in St. Louis, where she is thriving as a rising junior. Without Peggy, she would have never even applied, let alone been admitted.
My son, Kai, graduated from high school in 2022. Although exceptionally intelligent, he has a different skill set than his sister. His standardized test scores were exceptional, but his grades were not, and he struggled to convey a compelling message in his essays. Peggy and her writing team aggressively intervened. They held a series of meetings with him, in which, line-by-line, they went over every relevant essay and probed the effectiveness of the words on paper. They intensely probed him on the specific message he was hoping to convey. After countless hours and much prompting, they helped him create a series of fantastic essays, my favorite of which was his personal statement, which detailed his emotional struggles as he was diagnosed with ADHD and found treatment options to be ineffective. All along, his hope was to attend the undergraduate program at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas. With their help, Peggy’s team allowed Kai to express himself effectively, thereby creating a strong application and making his dream a reality.
I still have one more child, who is considerably younger than his siblings and will be starting kindergarten in the fall. My only hope is that Peggy is still doing this 12 years from now so I can utilize her services once again!
We were introduced to Peggy Amdur in the spring of our son’s Junior year of high school. I can assure you that what I am writing to tell you, today, is a completely different (and far more positive!) reality than if we had NOT met Peggy and had her as our guide, through the incredibly complicated, arduous, and unforgiving process known as college admissions.
Our son was tracking as a Valedictorian, in an extremely competitive school. He had wonderful extra-curriculars, leadership skills and test scores and, ignorantly, we just assumed that he would have unlimited options available to him-not the least of the “givens,” being our state school’s honors program. We could not have been more removed from reality.
From day one, literally, Peggy began the process of getting to know our son-what his dreams were, what motivated him, where his passions lay and, most importantly, where she could add the most value through the process. Through tireless and “all hours” of the day and night coordination and input, along with an incredible essay assistance , our son’s path started taking focus. The areas of strength were highlighted and the areas of, relative, weakness were enhanced. The list of “Safety”, “Target” and “Stretch” schools was established, applications took shape and, ultimately, our son had proudly put his best foot forward, and felt confident that there was not a single thing that we could do, which would have presented our son and his accomplishments in a more favorable light.
In the end, he has been blessed to have been accepted and have options within all three categories (Safety, Target, Stretch), including an acceptance to an Ivy League school, which had its lowest acceptance rate in school history, this year.
We cannot, adequately, express our gratitude and true appreciation for Peggy, her process, and her team. Knowing that, we simply say, “Thank you!” Our son’s experience and the options that he has in front of him would not have been the same without Peggy and College Choices and we could not be more pleased with or more passionately recommend her services!
With sincere gratitude,
Chip and Angela B.
We first met with Peggy in the spring of my son’s freshman year of high school. We discussed the dream school he hoped to one day attend. Peggy coached us along the way helping to decide everything from which courses to take to creative and valuable ways to spend his time outside of the classroom. When it came to filling out the applications she really knew the nuances of each application for many different types of schools. She provided excellent guidance on answering essay questions and knew how to think like a reader in an admissions department. She was always willing to spend the time to make sure all of our questions were answered and each application was a truly unique document highlighting my son’s achievements and accomplishments. She worked tirelessly helping him through the editing of each essay early in the morning and late into the night always paying attention to deadlines. This fall he will be attending The dream honors program at his dream school that we discussed all those years ago. She even went a step further and helped him find a roommate. The combination of his hard work over 4 years and her ability to work with him through the application process was the dream team. Peggy is a part fairy godmother and part adviser. As a parent, I highly recommend her and look forward to working with “the college whisperer” as we lovingly call her for years to come.
Let’s be honest – helping your high school student through the college application process can be daunting and we are so fortunate to have found our partner in the process – Peggy Amdur and the College Choices Team!
Peggy holds unparalleled knowledge of the university options, their strengths and uniqueness offerings. This allowed us to down select to universities and majors that best fit Charlotte. As a Highland Park family – we have excellent resources at the school – but we believed that augmenting those resources would provide us the best outcome.
And what an outcome we achieved – Charlotte’s resume along with Peggy’s insights and guidance earned her a highly coveted spot at Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana!
Yes – the process is grueling. However, if you have the powerhouse of Peggy Amdur on your Team — you can rest assured that the applications, essays, follow up and updates are right, on time, every time!
Peggy was realistic about the possibilities but willing to push the boundaries. She is good about getting to know your teen and their needs then translating that knowledge into potential schools and a personal essay that is uniquely their voice. As a mother of a teen, I’m not sure I could have motivated my teen to complete all the supplemental essays without Peggy. She brings her years of expertise navigating all the school’s unique requirements as well as remembering to dot all the i’s and cross the t’s. She was worth every penny!
Peggy did a wonderful job, supporting my son throughout the college application process. She started by helping him think through and narrow down the list of schools he wanted to apply to. Peggy is incredibly knowledgeable and very direct, leveraging her experience and expertise to advise which schools would be too much of an uphill battle, which are appropriate “reach” / “target” / “safe” schools to move forward with. Peggy offers a treasure-trove of information about these schools, that is incredibly valuable on a variety of fronts, including which schools will be a good fit for my son. Peggy consistently provides great information, practical advice, and helpful navigation through this complex process. She also brings a great passion, including providing proactive support with appeals process and follow-up recommendations. I would recommend Peggy and have already signed up for my second child!
Peggy Amdur single-handedly changed the direction of both of my sons’ college experiences. My older son always spoke about attending college only on either the East or West Coast. At the time, those schools required submission of at least two SAT II subject matter test scores. My son did well in an AP class his sophomore year, but the teacher never told the students to sign up to take the subject matter exam. It was a lost opportunity, and until then, I naively believed his counselors and teachers would guide his college application process. Peggy was referred to me shortly thereafter, and from the moment of our first conversation, I knew my boys were in very experienced, capable, trustworthy, honest and caring hands.
Immediately, Peggy implemented a game plan for my older son and set about helping him to select a group of colleges that fit his interests. Neither of his parents grew up in Texas, nor attended university or graduate school in Texas, and we were unfamiliar with the in-state offering. Peggy noticed that my son did not include any schools in Texas on his list; he explained that he only wanted to go to school out of state. As a parent, I was not in a position to question his interests, as I attended school out of state. Peggy, however, was able to explain to my son the incredible options available to him in his home state. They made a deal that he would apply to at least one in-state school, and he did so. She explained to us which schools would most likely accept my son, and which schools would be a stretch. She set realistic expectations for my son and for me.
Peggy was diligent about keeping me informed about their progress with finalizing essays, submitting applications, and making sure all of the collateral components were included and submitted. She also kept us informed about honors application deadlines and scholarships. My older son received several admissions offers, honors program offers and scholarships from public and private universities around the country. Among the offers was one for the only Texas school he had applied to – the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas. And, after much consideration, it is the school where he enrolled. Today, he is thriving, having an incredible experience, and knows it is the right choice for him.
Of course, I secured a spot for my younger son with Peggy as soon as I started working with her for my older son. My younger son, who also wanted to attend school out of state, worked with Peggy a few years later, and without any hesitation, applied to UT among several other schools. He too received multiple acceptances from elite public and private universities throughout the country with honors college options and scholarships. Based on my older son’s experience, my younger son decided that if McCombs accepted him, he would enroll, no matter where else he was accepted. I doubt he would have been committed or even been interested in Texas had Peggy not educated my older son about the school. Peggy worked tirelessly with both boys and accommodated their unpredictable schedules with sports and school. She becomes personally invested with each of her students and is meticulous about detail and helping students come up with themes and solid stories for their essays. She is patient and kind. She stays on them firmly, yet politely, regarding deadlines and requirements. She provides honest feedback and never promises a specific result or outcome. Peggy kept me informed of their progress. She also provided an important yet intangible benefit to our family: preserving my relationship with each of my sons during what is inevitably a very challenging period of time – the college application process during senior year. There are so many changes happening during a very busy senior year, and I did not want to spend their first semester as seniors as “the enforcer” regarding their college applications and deadlines. The best call my younger son received was when Peggy called him while he was nervously driving home from lacrosse practice to learn whether or not he had been accepted into UT McCombs. Their collective efforts paid off and she was able to tell him personally that he was admitted. I love that Peggy is an applicant’s fiercest advocate and biggest cheerleader. The sheer joy during their call was palpable, and they shared a very special moment. Peggy Amdur and College Choices is the best investment I could have made in my sons’ college application journeys. She single-handedly changed their futures by listening to their interests and suggesting schools that would be good fits for each of them. In the end, they had multiple options, and each chose the university that best suited their interests. My relationships with my sons are solid, I have gained a friend for life in Peggy, and we are all forever grateful to Peggy and her team. We are Peggy fans for life, and when my boys decide on graduate school, Peggy will be our first call to consult.
Jill E. Tananbaum
We are sending Peggy our sincerest thanks for guiding us through the college admissions process this past year. We couldn’t be more thrilled with the results; our senior received multiple Ivy acceptances and will attend a HYPS school this fall. From day one, Peggy was so on top of every aspect of the admission process and what our senior needed to do to be well-positioned to gain acceptance to top choices. Her influence was calming, reassuring, ethical, realistic, and kind—and her team works intelligently, efficiently, and responsively. We are so grateful for every minute her team spent with us and furthermore, so thankful for her honesty. Peggy has a big place in our hearts!
How often have you found comfort by having a “friend in the business” when it came to making decisions in life? When you hire Peggy and Adam, you don’t just get great advice, personalized service and amazing expertise – you get a real friend for you and your student. Peggy has worked with our family at the private school, undergraduate and graduate school levels successfully. When my children were accepted to their first-choice schools, I felt like it was Peggy and Adam’s only client getting accepted, because they are so caring, so involved and so trustworthy. Their long list of accomplishments speaks for itself – their clients are accepted to the best schools all over the country, but what matters most to them is that your student applies to and gets accepted to the right school for them. In this era where there is so much that feels out of your children’s control in this process, Peggy and Adam make it understandable, easy to navigate and fun!
I can’t say enough good things about working with Peggy Amdur of College Choices. I knew from our first meeting that she was a dedicated pro at connecting with students and setting them on course to a promising college application experience. Peggy kept my daughter (and me!) organized through the overwhelming process of applying and auditioning to fine arts programs throughout the country. Her thorough approach and attention to detail ensured that my daughter’s resumes and essays were effective and memorable in representing her. In the end, my daughter was accepted to her first-choice dream school, and most of the competitive programs she applied to. Peggy is an extraordinary college counselor and so much more…she empowers our kids with honesty and encouragement, she’s a lot of fun to be around, and now I’m happy to call her my friend!
The college application process can be very stressful for the student. There are many variables used to make the right decision and the best fit. College Choices was a valuable resource for my daughters. Peggy gave advice about collegiate level athletics and choosing the best-standardized tests to take based on high school rigor and academics. She made excellent suggestions about college options. She is easy to work with and accommodates the busy high school student’s schedule. My daughters were admitted (early decision) to their respective first choice schools, HARVARD and The University of Pennsylvania (PENN).
Lori Isenberg – Dallas, Texas
To say that the college admissions process for kids and their parents is daunting, complicated, and stressful is an understatement. Peggy and Adam with College Choices, however, made it a wonderful experience for our entire family. We hired them to work with both of our sons, and with their help, both of our sons were admitted into their first-choice, highly-selective colleges. Peggy and Adam’s extensive knowledge of the overall admissions process, as well as of the many wonderful institutions around the country, is remarkable. Neither of our sons wanted to stay in Texas, and they both had very different interests. Peggy and Adam were instrumental in finding the right fit for each of them and showed amazing attention to detail with each of their individual applications. From the beginning, Peggy and Adam set achievable timelines, helped navigate finding good college matches, and worked very closely with our sons in thinking through the many required essays. We never had to worry about application deadlines being met as Peggy and Adam managed them all directly and seamlessly with our sons. They are remarkable at making the college process a positive experience for you and your child and are very focused on building up every child’s self-esteem. We cannot imagine going through this process without them. Their expertise and track record are second to none, but more importantly, they truly care about your child.
From my first child to my fourth, I haven’t trusted anyone with the college application process but Peggy. From the first moment I met her, she was both delightful and professional. As we moved through university selection, she proved herself to be incredibly supportive, enthusiastic and loyal. She made the process much smoother, and my kids enjoyed working with her, often commenting about how much she cared. She was knowledgeable about the application process and helpful in motivating my kids to get their parts done. She kept them on track and insisted that they start early so they could enjoy more of their senior year; I found that to be incredibly thoughtful. As a result, they all did very well getting into the colleges of their choice: SMU, Vanderbilt, UT Austin McCombs, and UT Austin I am delighted to recommend Peggy!
Hiring Peggy and Adam made the college application process stress free for our entire family! She kept my twin daughters Ashley & Kristen on task with their calm presence and a great sense of humor. Best of all, my twins were both accepted to their dream school, The University of Texas at Austin! Peggy and Adam are the BEST!