Who Qualifies for the Fry Scholarship?
The Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship is a program offering military education benefits to the surviving children and spouses of military members who died on duty or as a result of military service.
VA.gov advises, “If your parent or spouse died in the line of duty on or after September 11, 2001, while serving in the Armed Forces, or was a member of the Selected Reserve who died from a service-connected disability, you may qualify for this benefit” which may provide money for tuition, housing, and books to those who qualify.
Related: MySECO: Four Reasons Military Spouses Need to Take Advantage
Who is eligible for Fry Scholarship benefits?
In general, Fry Scholarship benefits are offered to children and surviving spouses of the following:
- Service members who died in the line of duty while serving on active duty on or after September 11, 2001, or
- Service members who died in the line of duty but not on active duty on or after September 11, 2001, or
- Selected Reserve members who died from a service-connected disability on or after September 11, 2001
Fry Scholarship Requirements for Dependent College-Age Children
- If you turned 18 or graduated from high school before January 1, 2013 Fry Scholarships are available until you turn 33.
- If you turn 18 or graduate from high school after January 1, 2013, you can get a Fry Scholarship “at any age over 18 or after you graduate.”
- If the veteran was a member of the Selected Reserve and died from a service-connected disability, VA.gov says, “you can get a Fry Scholarship at any time, no matter how old you are.”
Some applicants may have a parent who died in the line of duty before August 1, 2011; in such cases, the applicant may qualify for both the Fry Scholarship and Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA) program.
Be advised that you can use one program at a time, and there is a combined benefits limit of 81 months for full-time education or training. Furthermore, those receiving Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC), “need to give up those payments when you start to use the Fry Scholarship,” according to VA.gov.
Related: Military Aid Societies and Military Education Benefits
Fry Scholarship Requirements for Surviving Spouses
In addition to the general requirements mentioned above, VA.gov advises, “If you remarry, you’ll no longer be eligible for the Fry Scholarship.” You should know that surviving spouses can receive both Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) payments at the same time you use Fry Scholarship benefits.
Fry Scholarship Benefits
You may qualify for up to 36 months of benefits, including:
- Money for tuition
- Money for housing
- Money for books and supplies
Steps To Your Fry Scholarship Application
First, you’ll need to select a school and determine that the school and, in some cases, the program itself is approved for VA education benefits. Then you can contact the school certifying official to get started. You’ll need to formally apply for the Fry Scholarship online at VA.gov or by paper form using a Dependents’ Application for VA Education Benefits (VA Form 22-5490).
You can check Fry Scholarship benefit rates at the VA official site.
About the author
Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter/editor for Air Force Television News and the Pentagon Channel. His freelance work includes contract work for Motorola, VALoans.com, and Credit Karma. He is co-founder of Dim Art House in Springfield, Illinois, and spends his non-writing time as an abstract painter, independent publisher, and occasional filmmaker.