Walter & Anna Soneson Scholarship Fund

Fund Description

The Walter and Anna Soneson Scholarship Fund provides a four year renewable scholarship to recognize the academic accomplishments of Protestant graduates of Duluth Public high schools who will attend college in MN, WI, MI, IA, IN, or IL.  

Application Instructions

By the terms of the will, Soneson Scholarships are granted to high school seniors who meet the following requirements. Subject to these stipulations, Soneson Scholarships are granted on an equal-opportunity basis.

  • Be of the Protestant faith (Lutheran, Baptist, Methodist, Congregationalist, etc)
  • Have been a resident of the City of Duluth for at least three years preceding graduation and attended a Duluth public high school thereof
  • Scholastic standing for their first three years of senior high school in the upper one-third of their class
  • ACT or SAT test satisfactorily completed
  • Be of good character
  • Have a reasonable need for financial assistance
  • Students who will benefit by having the opportunity to pursue their studies further
  • Be attending as a full-time student any 4-year accredited college or university in the state of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Indiana, or Illinois.

Applications will be taken through the application portal of the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation. That can be found through following this link. All applications (and supporting materials - excluding the FAFSA) are due to the DSACF office by January 15th.

Financial Need

The Soneson Scholarship Committee will not consider applications that do not include evidence of financial need. Evidence of financial need is provided by the FAFSA form, similar to other DSACF applications. All family financial information will be held in strict confidence.

Selection Criteria

The Soneson Scholarship is determined by examining the completed application form, the applicant's high school transcript, letters of recommendation from school faculty, and documentation of financial need. The Soneson Scholarship Committee will review each applicant's completed folder and select the final candidates who will be scheduled for an interview by the committee members. 
Successful candidates will be notified within 48 hours of their selection. Final candidates who are not selected will become alternates and at a later date may be selected if those chosen are unable to use the scholarship.

Recipient Responsibilities

• The majority of communication between recipients and the scholarship administrators will take place via email or other appropriate technology. Recipients are required to have and regularly check their email and notify the Community Foundation of any changes to their contact information. 
• Recipients of DSACF scholarships are expected to acknowledge acceptance of the award promptly. This acknowledgment will take two forms, completion of an Acceptance Form provided by the Community Foundation and secondly, a thank you letter/card to the award's sponsor. The Community Foundation will provide names and addresses as needed. If unable to accept the scholarship, the committee should be given that information and a reason in a prompt manor. 
• Recipients must inform the DSACF of all other scholarship they are receiving. Total awards for any given semester can not exceed the stated cost for attendance at that institution.
• Recipients must complete enough credits to be recognized as a full-time student in each semester an award is made. Likewise, a satisfactory grade point average (2.5 cumulative GPA) must be maintained. 
• If the student receives funds from the college due to non-completion of a term or not attending full time, these funds are to be returned to the DSACF. If the college requirements are not met, but there is no refund, the scholarship will be forfeited. 
• The Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation hopes that recipients recognize and appreciate the contributions their award has made to their futures. It further anticipates that, in the years to come, recipients find some way to give back to the community that provided them with these opportunities.

Fund Story

In 1961, under the will of Mrs. Anna Soneson Rahn, a trust fund called the Walter and Anna Soneson Scholarship Fund was established. The trust is held and administered by U.S. Bank which works closely with the Community Foundation and a committee of five Duluth citizens who select recipients. The scholarships are granted on the basis of scholarship, character, and reasonable need. 

Awards Given From the Fund

Several scholarships (of about $3000-$3500/year), co-payable to the student and school, will be awarded each year. Generally, this annual award is divided into two installments--half for fall, half for spring--and is renewable for four years, assuming proper academic progress (GPA of 2.5 or greater) and good character are maintained. Depending on the availability of funds, full-time summer school attendance may be awarded if sufficient credits are earned. 

2014 Awards Included:
$3500, Brianna Krause
$3500, Elizabeth Torma
$3250, Maia Dalager
$3250, Elizabeth Madole
$3250, Jonathan Opacich
$3500, Amber Kling
$3500, Erin Monroe
$3500, Karly Howg
$3500, Adrianna Olson


All questions regarding the Soneson Scholarship should be directed to the DSACF Scholarship Officer at or 218-726-0232.