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The application program will be available again in January. Please return then to view the updated Eligibility and Awards for the upcoming academic year! If you are an applicant who would like to discover more scholarship opportunities you might qualify for, please continue to the Scholarship America Hub and sign up!

Sam Johnson Old Stomping Grounds
Memorial Scholarship
Application status: Closed
To honor the memory of their father, Sam Johnson, son Jeffrey Johnson and daughter Paula (Johnson) Heppner have established the Sam Johnson Old Stomping Grounds Memorial Scholarship, in partnership with the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation. This scholarship program will assist high school seniors from International Falls High School who plan to continue their education in college or vocational school programs. It was important to Sam to give back to the community of his roots. Faith, family, community volunteerism, and the love for outdoors were the fabric of Sam’s life. These scholarships are funded from Sam’s personal life-long retirement savings.


Keeping professional and technically educated young people in small northern Minnesota towns is important to invigorate communities such as International Falls. Offering a hand up to aspiring young people may help them consider taking their educated selves back into the community in which they were raised.


These scholarships are a tribute to Sam Johnson and honor the good people of Sam’s old stomping grounds.


Sam Johnson

Picture of Sam Johnson
Picture of Sam Johnson
Picture of Sam Johnson

The eldest of five boys, Sam was born and raised in International Falls. A graduate of the Class of 1959 of Falls High, he was involved in football, track, choir, musical theatre, and was senior class president.

Sam was an avid outdoorsman and relished the lifestyle and close community that northern Minnesota afforded him.

Sam attended Gustavus Adolphus College, then served the US Army as Military Police in Germany. After finishing his biology and history degree at Bemidji State University, Sam and his wife Peggy lived in International Falls. They then made their home in Warroad, Minnesota where Sam worked for The Marvin Company for 27 years.

The program is administered by Scholarship America®, the nation’s largest designer and manager of scholarship and other education support programs for corporations, foundations, associations, and individuals. Eligibility for individual programs is determined at the sole discretion of the sponsor, and eligible applications are reviewed by Scholarship America’s evaluation team.

Applicants to the Sam Johnson Old Stomping Grounds Memorial Scholarship Program must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Be graduating high school seniors from International Falls High School who have attended the school a minimum of two full academic years.
  • Plan to enroll in full-time undergraduate study at an accredited two- or four-year college, university or vocational-technical school for the entire upcoming academic year.
  • Have a minimum grade point average of 2.8 on a 4.0 scale, or the equivalent.


The authorized distribution for new awards is $15,000.

  • One (1) award of up to $10,000 will be granted to a student enrolling in a four-year college or university.
  • One (1) award up to $5,000 will be granted to a student enrolled in a two-year college or vocational school.

The recipient attending a four-year school may renew their award up to three years or until a bachelor’s degree is earned, whichever occurs first.

The recipient attending a two-year school may renew their award up to one additional consecutive year.  Recipients are not eligible to receive an additional two years of funding if transferring to a four-year college of university.

Renewal of both awards is contingent upon the recipient maintaining a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.8 on a 4.0 scale or the equivalent.

Awards are for undergraduate study only.

Selection of Finalists and Recipients

Scholarship recipients are selected on the basis of:

  • Academic record
  • Demonstrated leadership and participation in school and community activities
  • Work experience
  • A statement of educational and career goals and objectives
  • Unusual personal or family circumstances

Financial need is not considered.

Scholarship America identifies finalists and an application selection committee will select recipients.

All applicants agree to accept the decision as final.


All applicants will be notified in May.

Payment of Scholarships

Scholarship America processes scholarship payments on behalf of the Foundation. Payment is made in August.

As part of your application, you must upload the following:

  • A current, complete transcript of grades. Grade reports are not accepted. Transcripts must display student name, school name, grades and credit hours for each course and term in which each course was taken.

    NOTE: If you are providing SAT or ACT test scores, and those scores are not listed on your high school transcript, you will need to upload an official copy of those test scores separately. If you are uploading a college transcript, those scores are not required.

Your application is not complete unless all required documents are submitted electronically.

Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation has partnered with Scholarship America. Select the button below to be directed to the Scholarship America Student Hub!

Please make sure to add as well as the program email address provided below in the footer as safe senders in your email contact list.