Scholarship Update: In 2014 changes to the Fry Scholarship program expanded eligiblity to include surviving spouses.
The Fry Scholarship is an amendment to the Post-9/11 GI Bill (chapter 33) that makes education benefits available to the surviving spouses and 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 Sergeant John D. Fry, 28, of Lorena, Texas. With only a week left in his Iraq tour in 2006, Fry injured his hand 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 his widow and three small children.
Like Post-9/11 veterans, eligible survivng spouses and children attending school may receive full tuition coverage at state-operated colleges and universities, plus a monthly living stipend and book allowance under this program.
Surviving spouses' eligibility expires either on the 15th anniversary of the servicemembers death or on the date the surviving spouse remarries. In addition, a surviving spouse who is eligible to more for veterans' educational assistance under the Montgomery GI Bill must select a single coverage.
Eligible children are entitled to 36 months of benefits at the 100% level and they have 15 years to use the benefit after their 18th birthday. The benefits may be used until their 33rd birthday. Children underage 18 cannot use this benefit even if they have completed high school. They are not eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program.
NOTE: The childs marital status does not affect eligibility for the Fry Scholarship.
Eligible children attending school may receive:
However, they are not eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program.
Rules for eligible children serving, or who have served, in the Armed Forces:
Children who have used or wish to use entitlement under Dependents’ Educational Assistance (DEA)
How to apply
Go to VA's website, http://www.gibill.va.gov/ and click on 'Apply for Benefits.' Paper versions of the form (VA Form 22-5490) may also be printed. A parent or guardianmust sign the application if the child is under age 18.
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