Fry Scholarship established for children of fallen servicemembers

  • Published
Children of military personnel who died in the line of duty since Sept. 11, 2001, can apply for an educational scholarship similar to the new Post-9/11 GI Bill.  Benefits are retroactive to Aug. 1, 2009.

The scholarship, which is administered by Department of Veterans Affairs representatives, is named for Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry, 28, a Texas native who died in Iraq in 2006 while disarming an explosive. He was survived by three young children.

"The Fry Scholarship represents this nation's solemn commitment to care for children whose mothers and fathers paid the ultimate price for our country," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki.

Applications will be accepted for the scholarship beginning May 1.

VA officials estimate nearly 1,500 children will receive benefits under the Fry Scholarship program in 2010. Recipients generally have 15 years to use their benefits, beginning on their 18th birthday.

Eligible children attending institutions of higher learning may receive payments to cover their tuition and fees up to the highest amounts charged to public, in-state students at undergraduate institutions in each state. A monthly housing allowance and stipend for books and supplies also are paid under this program.

Scholarship benefit payments will begin Aug. 1.  Eligible participants may receive benefits retroactively to Aug, 1, 2009, the same day the Post-9/11 GI Bill took effect.  Eligible children may be married.  Recipients are entitled to 36 months of benefits at the 100 percent level.

When dependents also serve in the military, the reserve components or are veterans in their own right, eligible for education benefits under the Montgomery GI Bill for Active Duty, the Montgomery GI Bill for Selected Reserves or the Reserve Educational Assistance Program, then they would relinquish their eligibility under those programs to receive benefits under a Fry Scholarship.

For more information or assistance applying, call toll-free 1-888-GIBILL-1 (1-888-442-4551), or visit the VA GI Bill Website at