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Children of active duty service members who died in the line of duty on or after September 11, 2001, are eligible for Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship benefits. A military child may still receive the Fry Scholarship if he or she is married or older than 23 years of age.
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Marine Gunnery Sergeant John D. Fry Scholarship


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Military Scholarship Dedicated to Gunnery Sgt. John D. Fry

Thanks to the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship, Fry is honored as a proud Marine, a devoted father and a humble patriot whose memory will continue to help the children of his military colleagues.

Public Law 111-32, the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship, is an amendment to the Post-9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) that aims to provide educational support for the surviving spouses and children of service members who died in the line of duty while on active duty after September 10, 2001.

Under the “Fry Scholarship,” children and spouses of fallen service members can be covered for full tuition and fees for up to 36 months, in addition to a monthly living stipend and book allowance, the same Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits as veterans who serve three years of active-duty.


Surviving children of fallen service members can avail benefits of the Fry Scholarship if they fall under certain criteria. Children are eligible once they are 18 years of age, or have graduated high school. While there is no age limitation for children who became eligible on or after January 1, 2013, those who became eligible after that date lose their benefits upon their 33rd birthday. The Fry scholarship was extended to cover the educational benefits for surviving spouses as well. There is no time or age limit for spouses to avail these benefits, but they will lose eligibility in the case that they remarry.


In addition to the Fry Scholarship, children of fallen soldiers may qualify for the Dependents Educational Assistance (DEA) as well. This program offers 45 months of education benefits. However, applicants must make an irreversible decision between the two, since they are not permitted to receive benefits from both programs at once, based on the same event. There is an exception for children whose parents died in the line of duty before August 1, 2011. In this circumstance, children may use one program at a time and combined benefits are capped at a total of 81 months of full-time training.

Dependents may also be receiving Dependency Indemnity Compensation (DIC). Whereas surviving spouses are allowed to receive DIC payments concurrently with the Fry Scholarship, children must give up DIC payments once they turn 18, and start receiving the scholarship.


To apply for the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship, dependents must complete VA Form 22-5490, Dependents Application for VA Education Benefits, and send it to the Regional Processing Office with jurisdiction over the state where they will be completing their higher education or training. Children under legal age must have a parent or guardian sign the application. At this point, applicants will have to make their choice between the Fry Scholarship and the Dependents' Educational Assistance (DEA) program to receive benefits.

*Children of service members who died in the line of duty prior to August 1, 2011 may be eligible for both DEA and the Fry Scholarship, but they cannot be used at the same time.

Applicants who have already started their educational program or training must take their applications to their school or employer and have them complete the VA Form 22-1999, Enrollment Certification. Both forms must be sent to VA.

*Schools must contact their VA representative to receive this form. is not a government website and is not affiliated with any branch of the U.S. Military.

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