Staff Focus: Q&A with Dawn Mazzola

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Dawn Mazzola is the assistant director of financial aid at Viterbo University. In this role she has many responsibilities, which include processing financial aid offers, managing the federal work-study program, financial aid advising, and acting as a private lending liaison.  Mazzola also serves as the school certifying official for the VA and works closely with veterans and their dependents to assist them in accessing educational benefits. 

Dawn Mazzola
Dawn Mazzola

How many years have you worked at Viterbo? 
The start of the 2020-21 school year will mark my 31st year at Viterbo! I started in admissions after graduating from the University of North Dakota in 1989. When I wasn’t sure I had it in me to move somewhere new and all by myself, my dad said, “If you take the job, you don’t have to stay forever!” Well, I have. I worked in admissions for six years and transitioned to financial aid in 1995. I met my husband in La Crosse and we have raised our two daughters here. La Crosse is a great city to live and work in, and Wisconsin is much prettier (and warmer) than North Dakota!

Areas of expertise? 
The financial aid application process, financial aid counseling, private loan processing, federal work-study, and veterans benefits. 
What do you love most about working at Viterbo? 
I handle the processing of financial aid for all incoming freshman and transfer students. I enjoy working with college-aged students and their parents and helping them navigate financial aid from filing the FAFSA to disbursement of funds. I also love being on a college campus—the atmosphere is wonderful and it keeps me feeling young and vibrant.

What inspires you?
I am inspired when a student who thought he or she could not afford a private education realizes that they can. There are a lot of myths out there about private education and cost and breaking those down is always a good thing. I am also inspired by students and parents who express how grateful they are for the hospitality and service they receive at Viterbo.  

What others say about you? 
Here are comments students and co-workers have made about Dawn:
“Everyone likes Dawn. She is very kind and welcoming to parents and students, and is always ready and willing to help them with their questions and concerns.”

“Thank you for all the help you have given us, Dawn. Your kindness and help have been very appreciated. You were a big factor in making Viterbo University a viable option for our son. I know you will continue to be both a help and a blessing to incoming freshmen and their families.”
“Ma’am, thank you so much. I truly appreciate all your help with my post 9/11 GI Bill payments. People always say thank you to a vet for their service, so I just wanted to say THANK YOU for what you do for all of us veterans!”