Getting the most from your Fry Scholarship
Hello Military Community,
As there is a new bill awaiting approval in Congress (which I will talk about next week) regarding The Marine Gunnery Sergeant John D. Fry Scholarship, I would like to touch base for the newbies who are not aware of this scholarship and what it covers.
The Fry Scholarship is an amendment to the Post-9/11 GI Bill that makes education benefits available to the children of service members who die in the line of duty after Sept. 10, 2001. The scholarship was created to honor the memory of Marine Gunnery Sgt. John D. Fry, 28, of Lorena, Texas.
With only a week left in his Iraq tour in 2006, Fry was injured and was given the option of going home early with a Bronze Star. Fry declined the offer and volunteered to go on one last run to defuse bombs. Fry was killed March 8, 2006, by an improvised explosive device in Anbar province, Iraq, leaving behind a widow and three small children.
The benefit went into effect on Aug. 1, 2009; the same day as the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Like Post-9/11 veterans, eligible children attending school may receive up to the highest public, in-state undergraduate tuition and fees, plus a monthly living stipend and book allowance under this program.
Eligible children are entitled to 36 months of benefits at the 100 percent level and they have 15 years to use the benefit after their 18th birthday. The benefits may be used until their 33rd birthday. Children under the age of 18 cannot use this benefit even if they have completed high school. They are not eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program. Also, the child’s marital status DOES NOT affect eligibility for the Fry Scholarship.
Eligible children attending school may receive:
• Full tuition and fees paid directly to the school for all public school in-state students. For those attending private or foreign schools tuition and fees are capped at $17,500 per academic year.
• Students attending a private Institute of Higher Learning in AZ, MI, NH, NY, PA, SC, or TX may be eligible for a higher tuition reimbursement rate.
• A monthly housing allowance
• A books-and-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/she must relinquish eligibility under one of those programs to receive benefits under Post-9/11 GI Bill.
• A child’s character of discharge from his/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.
• A child may ONLY qualify for up to 36 months of benefits under Fry and Post-9/11 GI Bill based on their own service. However, an individual may receive additional entitlement if another parent transfers entitlement to the individual.
Children who have used or wish to use entitlement under Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA):
If a child is eligible for the Fry Scholarship, he/she may be eligible for VA’s DEA. Although the benefits cannot be used at the same time, a child may be eligible for up to 48 months of benefits between the two programs. Find out more about DEA at gibill.va.gov/benefits/other_programs/dea.html.
You can apply for this scholarship at www.gibill.va.gov. A parent or guardian must sign the application if the child is under the age of 18.
Best wishes from my family to yours,