Fry Scholarship - Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship
Regular Army: Active Duty
Benefit Fact Sheet
Public Law 111-32 amended the Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33, Section 3311, Title 38 US Code) to include the Children of Service members who die in the line of duty while serving on active duty as a member of the Armed Forces after September 10, 2001. Public Law 113-146, enacted August 7, 2014, further amended the Post-9/11 GI Bill to include surviving Spouses. This is known as The Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship (or the Fry Scholarship). Benefits are administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs and are retroactive to August 1, 2009, the same day the Post-9/11 GI Bill took effect. Surviving Spouse eligibility commences with school terms commencing on or after January 1, 2015.
Surviving Spouses and Children of Soldiers who died in the line of duty while serving on active duty as a member of the Armed Forces on or after September 11, 2001, are eligible for this benefit. A Child may be married or over the age of 23 and still be eligible. A surviving Spouse remains eligible for benefits for 15 years after the date of the Soldier's death or until remarriage, if earlier.
Benefits for Eligible Surviving Spouses and Children:
- Full tuition & fees paid directly to the school for all public school in-state students for up to 36 months. For those attending private or foreign schools, tuition & fees are capped at a statutory maximum amount per academic year. Fry Scholarship beneficiaries are not eligible for Yellow Ribbon Program benefits.
- A monthly housing allowance.
- A books & supplies stipend.
Rules for eligible Children serving, or who have served, in the Armed Forces:
- If the Child is eligible under the Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty, Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve, and/or the Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP), then he or she must relinquish eligibility under one of those programs to receive benefits under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
- A Child's character of discharge from his or her own service does not impact eligibility resulting from the line of duty death of a parent.
- A Child on active duty will receive benefits at the active duty benefit rate (eligible for unlimited tuition and fees but not eligible for monthly housing allowance or books and supplies stipend).
- A Child may only qualify for up to 36 months of benefits under the Fry and Post 9/11 GI Bill based on their own service. However, an individual may receive additional entitlement if another parent transfers their entitlement to the individual.
Rules for Individuals who have used or wish to use entitlement under Dependents' Educational Assistance (DEA):
Children who are eligible for the Fry Scholarship may also be eligible for DEA. Effective August 1, 2011, Children are not eligible for both the Fry Scholarship and DEA benefits based on a parent's death in the line of duty.
- A Child whose parent died after July 31, 2011 must make an irrevocable election between the Fry Scholarship and DEA when applying for benefits.
- A Child whose parent died before August 1, 2011 may still be eligible for both benefits, but he or she may only use one program at a time, and combined benefits are capped at a total of 81 months of full-time training.
Surviving Spouses who are eligible for the Fry Scholarship may also be eligible for DEA. Surviving Spouses are not eligible for both the Fry Scholarship and DEA benefits based upon a Spouse's death in the line of duty. Surviving Spouses must make an irrevocable election of which benefit he or she wishes to receive for any and all school enrollments beginning on or after January 1, 2015.
Fry Scholarship Fact Sheet:
For more information regarding the Fry Scholarship, call 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551) or the VA GI Bill Website:
Document Review Date: 28 March 2016