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In the business of getting ahead

New company, Pegasus2edu, looks to jump-start college-application process

Posted: February 26, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: February 26, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Samantha Summers, 17, works on her college-application portfolio with Pegasus2edu owner Peggy Stabile at the company’s Valencia office on Feb. 3. Samantha Summers, 17, works on her college-application portfolio with Pegasus2edu owner Peggy Stabile at the company’s Valencia office on Feb. 3.
Samantha Summers, 17, works on her college-application portfolio with Pegasus2edu owner Peggy Stabile at the company’s Valencia office on Feb. 3.

Waiting until your senior year of high school to begin the college review and application process is not advised, experts say.

The process of selecting a college and planning for the application process should begin in the student’s freshman and sophomore years, said Peggy Stabile, the director of education for Pegasus2edu, a local college guidance and planning service that opened in September 2010.

Early on, it only takes a few meetings to discuss grades and activities that will be vital to admission at the schools of choice. Pegasus2edu works to acquaint students with the application process, preparing them so they will know what to expect.

“When students come in at the beginning of their senior year, they’re taking rigorous course loads, peak loads and there’s a lot of pressure to complete applications,” Stabile said. “It’s better to get a jump on it earlier.”

Pegasus2edu begins seriously working with juniors, guiding them through the essay writing often required by colleges. Stabile brainstorms with the students to choose the best topics for the essays.

She helps them craft personal statements about themselves and assists the students to create a resume, or “brag sheet,” about themselves. Stabile proofreads all essays and statements created by the students.

All of these activities also help focus the student and fine-tune their message when writing, completing an application or meeting with college staff.

During the summer, Stabile then works with students to begin filling out their applications.

Mock interviews
By the time students reach their senior year, the company also conducts mock interviews to prepare students for colleges, most often private ones, which hold formal interview meetings with applicants.

“Practice allows the students to feel comfortable in the real interview,” Stabile said. “We review possible questions, body language and do a critique after the mock interview.”

Meeting with a college official allows the school to see what is unique and special about the student. Face-to-face meetings give an applicant a leg up over the “paper interview” process in cases where both applicants are equal.

A longtime resident of Santa Clarita, Stabile said she started her company following a rewarding career teaching English, reading and special education.

She then applied her talents and served students as a school counselor at both the secondary and community college level.
She has helped hundreds of local students and their parents navigate through the college application process Stabile said.

“Pegasus2edu can turn what can often be a stressful and tension-filled exercise into an organized, well-planned experience,” Stabile said.

Valencia High School senior Samantha Summers agrees. Working with Pegasus2edu helped Summers gain acceptance at Chapman, Loyola Marymount, University of San Diego and California Lutheran. She is also waiting to hear back from USC and George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Summers, 17, said Stabile has been great to work with and very helpful during the difficult writing process.
“She really helped me get through the last couple of months,” Summers said. “She helped me get through the past couple of months alive.”

Which college?
After initially reviewing the college application process and requirements, Stabile works with students to identify the kind of colleges that would be the best fit for an individual student academically, socially and culturally.

College-bound strategies are developed to list schools a student likes, schools a student would like to “reach” and gain acceptance at and “dream schools.” Stabile works with the students to ensure applications are submitted to schools that the student should be accepted at.

Included in the college-search process is financial-aid consideration, if that’s a need or desire by the student or student’s family.

“One student was just accepted into four schools and received merit scholarships from three of them,” Stabile said.

Pegasus2edu is holding a workshop March 9 at College of the Canyons to help students and their families begin their quest. Titled “College 101: The Search Begins,” the seminar provides an overview to help attendees distinguish among the many options available.

Pegasus2edu is located at 27201 Tourney Road, Suite 200A in Valencia. More information can be found at or by calling (661) 993-1881.


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