The South Carolina Higher Education Tuition Grants Commission is proud to announce the appointment of Ms. Katherine (Katie) Harrison as Executive Director effective June 30, 2017.
Ms. Harrison obtained her Bachelor’s degree from Oglethorpe University, a private liberal arts institution in Atlanta, Georgia. She holds a Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from the University of South Carolina. Katie has extensive experience and expertise in Tuition Grants administration, having worked as the Commission’s Deputy Director since 2009. Prior to joining the Tuition Grants Commission, she worked in the student financial aid field for 11 years, holding positions at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, Lander University, the University of South Carolina, and South Carolina Student Loan Corporation. In 2007, the National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition published Ms. Harrison’s featured article entitled “Financial Literacy Initiatives on Today’s Campuses: Strategies for Student Success” in their newsletter, E-Source for College Transitions.
Katie is an active member of the South Carolina Association of Student Financial Administrators (SCASFAA). The Association honored her with the Emerging Leader Award in 2010 and the Achiever Award in 2016. She has served SCASFAA as President and Secretary, in addition to volunteering for and chairing a number of committees since joining in 2002. She chaired the Association’s 50th Anniversary Conference in 2016. Katie has also represented the state of South Carolina on the Executive Board of the Southern Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (SASFAA) and continues to be an active member of that Association. She currently serves on the Executive Committee of the National Association of State Student Grant and Aid Programs (NASSGAP) as Secretary, and she is also a member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals. In 2015, at the invitation of former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher Education Initiative, Katie represented the state of South Carolina at a FAFSA convening of higher education administrators from across the country, which was held at the White House.
Katie and her husband, Jayson, have been married for 20 years. Their daughter, Sarah (19), is studying Studio Art at Converse College, and their son, Jake (15), is a student in the Environmental Academy at Spring Hill High School.
“The South Carolina Higher Education Tuition Grants Commission is thrilled to have Ms. Katie Harrison leading the Commission,” says Ms. Elizabeth Dinndorf, President of Columbia College and Commission Chair. “With her considerable experience and expertise in the Tuition Grants program, she will provide exemplary leadership to the Tuition Grants Commission. Ms. Harrison succeeds Mr. Earl Mayo, who is retiring as Executive Director after over 22 years of leadership and service to the Commission, and over eight years as director. The Commission thanks Mr. Mayo for his service and congratulates Ms. Harrison on her appointment.”
Katie is the fifth Executive Director in the agency’s 47-year history and is the first female to hold the position.
The South Carolina Tuition Grants program provides grant assistance to South Carolina students enrolled full-time as an undergraduate at eligible independent, non-profit colleges and universities in South Carolina. The Tuition Grant is the only need-based grant for independent higher education provided by the state of South Carolina and has awarded over $910 million to help over 410,000 students attend college since its inception in 1970.