The Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship

by Ron Kness on July 24, 2012

This post is about a little known education scholarship that could help children of military members, dying in the line of duty, that have the desire to go to college, but not the funding. If you know of children meeting the eligibility requirements, please pass this information along to them.

The Man Behind the Scholarship

Gunny Sergeant John David Fry, 28 from Lorena Texas, only had a week left in Iraq’s Anbar Province to complete his tour in 2006 when he injured his hand.  He was given the option to go home early with a Bronze Star – he declined the offer. Instead, he volunteered to go on one last mission to defuse more IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices).

On March 8, 2006 while on mission, an IED exploded killing him. Fry left behind his wife and three small children. This scholarship was created to honor his selfless service to the Marine Corps and people of the United States.

Eligibility Requirements

The basic premise of the scholarship is that it provides Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to children of servicemembers who died in the line of duty after September 11, 2001. Children may be over the age of 23 or married and still be eligible for 36 months of benefits, however, any unused benefits end on the child’s 33rd birthday.

If an eligible child is serving or has served in the Armed Forces, s/he may still qualify for the scholarship if the child is:

–  eligible for his/her own GI Bill (Montgomery GI Bill-Active Duty (MGIB-AD), Montgomery GI Bill-Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR), or the Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP), s/he must relinquish that GI Bill eligibility to receive the Fry Scholarship.
– no longer serving, but has a less than fully honorable discharge, the child’s character of discharge does not affect scholarship eligibility.
– currently serving, then s/he would receive Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits at the active duty rate.

If the child is eligible for the Fry scholarship, s/he is also eligible to receive Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits transferred from the other parent, in the case of dual military families.

The Fry Scholarship Benefit

The benefit received under the Fry Scholarship is basically the same as the Post 9/11 GI Bill:

–  Tuition paid directly to the school by the VA.
–  Monthly housing allowance based on the zip code of the school and number of credits taken.
–  Book stipend calculated at $41.67 per credit, up to the $1,000 per academic year limit.
–  Scholarship recipients are not eligible to use the Yellow Ribbon program.

Children eligible for the Fry scholarship, may also be eligible for the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Education Assistance Program (DEA).  With dual educational assistance eligibility, a child could get up to another 12 months of education benefit bringing the total entitlement up to 48 months.

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