It is no secret that out of pocket costs for higher education in America puts college dreams out of reach for many students. Every year colleges, universities, foundations, and government programs offer billions of dollars financial assistance to aspiring college students. The trouble with these awards is they are almost always given out after a student is through the college admission process, leaving a big question mark in the affordability column for families until the very end.

“Micro-scholarships” aim to combat this problem. Small awards are granted to students throughout their high school career, rather than at the end, for achievements that will serve them well in the college admission process and beyond., a startup that won initial funding from the College Knowledge Challenge contest, sponsored by the Gates Foundation and Facebook, awards micro-scholarships to students for academic achievements, volunteerism and citizenship. Learn more on this episode of Admissions Live.


Admissions Live is sponsored by mStoner, Inc.

Episode Host

Adam Castro

As Vice President for Enrollment Management, Adam Castro oversees the operations of the Offices of Admission, Marketing, and Student Financial Services. His areas of responsibility include development of recruitment, marketing, admission, and financial aid programs designed to recruit, admit and retain students at Bloomfield College. He has been at Bloomfield College since 2003 and has also served as Assistant Director of Admission, Associate Director of Admission, Director of Admission, and Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Management during his tenure.

Adam is an active member of numerous organizations including the National Association of College Admission Counselors (NACAC), the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO), the ACT New Jersey State Council, NAFSA: Association for International Educators, and the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in New Jersey (AICUNJ).

He received his Master’s degree in Public Administration from Kean University and holds a B.A. degree in Journalism and Media Studies from the Rutgers University School of Communication and Library Studies.



Quincy Balius

Quincy is a rising junior at Cascade High School. She is student editor of the school newspaper The Ketochi and vice president of student council. Quincy also serves as vice president of her school’s Business Professionals of America chapter and president of her school’s Faith Club. She has written for the Great Falls Tribune for three years as a Teen Panelist and a columnist.
She loves writing, singing, baking, and long-distance running. Quincy plans to attend college and major in computer science and has career interests in intellectual property and criminal law. Her aspirations include writing novels, going into politics, and running a marathon on every continent to raise awareness for mental illness. Quincy is working with as an ambassador, giving her a chance to encourage other students to pursue their dreams of higher education.

George Kirkland

George is a Co-founder and Vice President of Partnerships at, a social enterprise focused on helping more students pursue their college ambitions.  At, Mr. Kirkland oversees college partnerships, finance, and operations.  Prior to, Mr. Kirkland spent five years working at Morgan Stanley.  While there, he was a part of Student Sponsorship Partners, a mentorship program supporting underserved high school students in the Bronx.  Mr. Kirkland is a University if Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education Fellow and was a Medlin Scholar at UNC Chapel Hill, where he double majored in Business and Public Policy.  Mr. Kirkland is also a longtime NACAC member and has presented on college access at numerous regional and national conferences.


Julie Vivian

Julie is advisor for the College Assistance Program (CAP) at TERRA Environmental Research Institute in the Miami-Dade County Public Schools system. Through MDCPS, CAP advisors assist students with completing applications for college entrance exams, admission to postsecondary institutions, financial aid, career planning, and scholarship searches.



Higher Ed Live

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