Public Law 111-32, the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship, amends the Post-9/11 GI Bill (chapter 33) to include the children and unmarried surviving spouses of service members who die in the line of duty after Sept. 10, 2001. The benefit is effective August 1, 2009; the same day the Post-9/11 GI Bill takes effect. Eligible persons attending school may receive:

• Full tuition & fees paid directly to the school for all public school in-state students. For those attending private or foreign schools tuition & fees are capped at a statutory maximum amount per academic year.
• A monthly housing allowance
• A books & supplies stipend

Eligible persons:

  • are entitled to 36 months of benefits at the 100% level
  • have 15 years to use the benefit
  • are not eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program


  • are eligible beginning on their 18th birthday or the date the begin attending an authorized program
  • may use the benefit until their 33rd birthday

Surviving Spouses:

  • benefit will terminate upon remarriage

Rules for eligible persons serving, or who have served, in the Armed Forces:

  • If the beneficiary is eligible under the Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty, Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve, and/or the Reserve Educational Assistance Program (REAP), then he or she must relinquish eligibility under one of those programs to receive benefits
  • Character of discharge from their own service does not impact eligibility resulting from the line of duty death of a parent
  • Those on active duty will receive benefits at the active duty benefit rate (eligible for unlimited tuition and fees but not eligible for monthly housing allowance)
  • Those who meet the service requirements to transfer entitlement under Post-9/11 GI Bill may be eligible to transfer up to 36 months of entitlement to his or her dependents.

Children who hae used or wish to use entitlement under Dependents' Educational Assistance (DEA):

  • If a child is eligible for the Fry Scholarship, he or she may be eligible for VA’s Dependents’ Educational Assistance Program (DEA).
  • Although the benefits cannot be used at the same time, a child may be eligible for up to 48 months of benefits between the two programs.
  • Find out more about DEA at   

How to Apply:

  • Go to VA’s website, and click on "Apply for Benefits." Paper versions of the form (VA Form 22-5490) may also be printed. A parent or guardian must sign the application if the child is under age 18.
  • Once the application is submitted to VA, please provide a copy to the JMU School Certifying Official along with the JMU Request for Education Benefits form. Please reference this link for how the benefit pays.

For more information, call toll-free 1-888-GIBILL-1 or visit our website at

Informational document for the expansion of Fry Scholarship to spouses


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