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Military Education Benefits Guide: MGS Fry Scholarship

Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship

The Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship (Fry Scholarship) provides Post-9/11 GI Bill® benefits to the children and surviving spouses of service members who died in the line of duty while on active duty after September 10, 2001.

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 are eligible for this benefit. Children are eligible as of their 18th birthday (unless they have already graduated high school). A child may be married or over 23 and still be eligible, although their eligibility ends on their 33rd birthday. A spouse will lose eligibility to this benefit upon remarriage. A spouse has 15 years from the date of death of the service member to use the benefit.

If you are eligible for both Fry Scholarship and DEA (Dependents Educational Assistance), you will be required to make an irrevocable election between the two programs when you apply. Dependents are not eligible to receive both DEA and the Fry Scholarship based on the same event (passing in the line of duty) unless he or she is a child whose parent died prior to August 1, 2011. A child of a parent who died prior to August 1, 2011 may still be eligible for both benefits but he/she may only use one program at a time and combined benefits are capped at a total of 81 months of full-time training. In this situation the two benefit programs cannot be used concurrently.  

Fry Scholarship

Application Process

Application Process and Documentation for the Fry Scholarship:

  1. Apply for this benefit through the VETS.gov
  2. Once the Application is completed, keep your confirmation page showing you applied for benefits.
  3. Once your benefits have been approved and process by the VA you will receive a Certificate of Eligibility Letter.  This must be submitted to the school.  The timeframe for receiving this letter can take up to 10-12 weeks.  This will not delay certification of your benefits or your ability to start school. However, you will not receive your Military Housing Allowance and/or the school will not receive tuition payment until the application has been processed.

If you have started your educational program, take your application to your school or employer. Ask them to complete VA Form 22-1999 (Enrollment Certification).

Available benefits and How They are Paid

Eligible beneficiaries attending school may receive up to 36 months of benefits at the 100% level. This includes:

  • 100% of Tuition and Fees Paid Directly to the School
  • Monthly Housing Allowance (At the Rate for an E-5 with Dependent)
  • Annual Books and Supplies Stipend (Not to Exceed $1000.00 Annually)

Current payment rates can be found at: https://www.benefits.va.gov/GIBILL/resources/benefits_resources/rate_tables.asp

Withdrawing From or Failing a Course

If you are considering or planning to withdraw from a course: CONTACT A MILITARY SPECIALIST IMMEDIATELY

Withdrawing from or failing a course may result in an overpayment between the student and the VA that you may be responsible to repay.  Please contact a Military Specialist immediately if you are potentially withdrawing from or failing a course to discuss how this will impact your VA Benefits.