New Scholarship for the Children of Some Deceased Veterans

WASHINGTON – The children of military personnel who died in the line of duty since Sept. 10, 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 the Department of Veterans Affairs, are named after Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry, 28, a Texas native who died in Iraq in 2006 while disarming an explosive.  He is survived by three young children.

“I believe this is an important way to honor the memory of those mothers and fathers that have made the greatest sacrifice for their country” Berry said. “It is also a step forward in making sure we take care of the children of these fallen soldiers, because they are the ones that ultimately share this sacrifice.”

VA is currently accepting applications for the 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

VA estimates nearly 1,500 children will receive benefits under the Fry scholarship program in 2010.  Recipients have 15 years to use their benefits, beginning on their 18th birthdays, through their 33rd birthdays.

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

VA will begin paying benefits under the Fry scholarships on Aug. 1, 2010.  Eligible participants may receive benefits retroactively to August 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 are also Veterans or service members eligible under the Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty, Montgomery GI Bill for Selected Reserves or the Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP), then they must relinquish their eligibility under those programs to receive benefits under a Fry scholarship.