Home  »  Military and Veteran Scholarships   »   John D. Fry Scholarship for Surviving Children & Spouses

John D. Fry Scholarship for Surviving Children & Spouses

fry scholarship

John D. Fry Scholarship Overview

The John D. Fry Scholarship provides Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to children and surviving spouses of service members who died in the line of duty while on active duty after September 10, 2001. Those who are eligible who are attending school may receive up to 36 months of benefits at the 100% level.

Here is a little bit more about this scholarship:

What Is the History of the John D. Fry Scholarship?

On March 8, 2006, Marine Gunnery Sgt. John D. Fry was killed in action by an IED in Anbar Province, Iraq. He left behind his wife, Malia, and three young children. He was just 28 years old at the time. The Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship grew out of his military service and sacrifice to our country.

The scholarship was created with the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2009, enacted on June 24, 2009.

What Does the Fry Scholarship Cover?

  • Full tuition and fees, which would be paid directly to the school for all public school in-state students. Private or foreign school tuition and fees are capped at a statutory maximum.
  • A monthly housing allowance
  • A books and supplies stipend

Who is Eligible for the Fry Scholarship?

This scholarship is for 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.


  • They are eligible as of their 18th birthday unless they have already graduated high school.
  • They can be married or over the age of 23.
  • If they became eligible before January 1, 2013, their eligibility ends on their 33rd birthday. If they became eligible on or after January 1, 2013, the age limitation is removed.


  • They will lose their eligibility when they remarry.
  • If they became eligible before January 1, 2013, their eligibility is limited to 15 years to use the benefit. If they became eligible on or after January 1, 2013, the time limit is removed.

What about the Fry Scholarship and DEA Eligibility?

If someone is eligible for both the Fry Scholarship and DEA, which is Dependent Educational Assistance, they will be required to make a decision between the two, and that can not be changed. Dependents are not eligible to receive both DEA and the Fry Scholarship based on the same event. However, if they are a child whose parent died before August 1, 2011, they may still be eligible for both benefits but they can only use one program at a time and their combined benefits will be capped at a total of 81 months of full-time training.

What about the Fry Scholarship and the Yellow Ribbon Program?

If someone gets the Fry Scholarship, they can also use the Yellow Ribbon Program. This was added as of August 1, 2018.

What Else Do We Need to Know?

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

How Can You Apply for the Fry Scholarship?

  • You would need to make sure that your selected program is approved for VA training.
  • You would need to complete VA Form 22-5490, Dependents Application for VA Education Benefits. You would send this to the Regional Processing Office with jurisdiction over the state where you will advance your education and training.
  • You could also apply online, visit your VA regional office, work with your school’s certifying official, or call at 888-442-4551.
  • If you are a child, under 18, a parent would need to sign your application.
  • If you have already started your educational program, you would take your application to your school or your employer. You would ask them to complete VA Form 22-1999, Enrollment Certification and send both forms to the VA. You can also submit this electronically using VA-ONCE. Schools will need to contact their VA representative to receive the form.

Please keep in mind that the John D. Fry Scholarship is a bit different than a traditional scholarship and works as a benefit for the children and spouses of service members who have died in the line of duty. You can visit the VA page for more information.


Find scholarships for military, veterans and their families


Scholarships for the Military Community