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Education and Training

Fry Scholarship

The Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship (Fry Scholarship) provides Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to the children and surviving spouses of Servicemembers who died in the line of duty while on active duty after September 10, 2001. Eligible beneficiaries attending school may receive up to 36 months of benefits at the 100% level. Find out more information on payment rates.  See our fact sheet which provides more detailed information. 


Children and surviving spouses of an active duty member of the Armed Forces who died in the line of duty on or after September 11, 2001 are eligible for this benefit. Children are eligible as of their 18th birthday (unless they have already graduated high school). A child may be married or over 23 and still be eligible, although their eligibility ends on their 33rd birthday. A spouse will lose eligibility to this benefit upon remarriage. A spouse has 15 years from the date of death of the Servicemember to use the benefit.

If you are eligible for both Fry Scholarship and DEA (Dependents Educational Assistance), you will be required to make an irrevocable election between the two programs when you apply. Dependents are not eligible to receive both DEA and the Fry Scholarship based on the same event (like a Servicemember dying in the line of duty) unless he or she is a child whose parent died prior to August 1, 2011. A child of a parent who died prior to August 1, 2011 may still be eligible for both benefits but he/she may only use one program at a time and combined benefits are capped at a total of 81 months of full-time training. In this situation the two benefit programs cannot be used concurrently.  

Other Factors to Consider

Surviving spouses are eligible to receive Dependency Indemnity Compensation (DIC) while using the Fry Scholarship. Children, over the age of 18, in receipt of DIC will relinquish DIC payments upon the start of using VA education benefits such as the Fry Scholarship.


To apply, take these steps depending on your situation:

  • Make sure that your selected program is approved for VA training. Please visit our GI Bill Comparison Tool for help in choosing a school.
  • To apply, obtain and complete VA Form 22-5490, Dependents Application for VA Education Benefits. Send it to the Regional Processing Office with jurisdiction over the state where you will advance your education and training. If you are a son or daughter, under legal age, a parent or guardian must sign the application. When applying, you will be required to make an irrevocable election between the Fry Scholarship and the Dependents' Educational Assistance (DEA) program to receive benefits. Children of a Servicemember who died in the line of duty prior to August 1, 2011 may be eligible for both DEA and Fry but they cannot be used at the same time.
  • If you have started your educational program, take your application to your school or employer. Ask them to complete VA Form 22-1999, Enrollment Certification, and send both forms to VA. He or she can submit an Enrollment Certification electronically using VA-ONCE. (Note: Schools must contact their VA representative to receive this form.)