There are a few different ways that the VA offers educational benefits to children and spouses of Service members and Veterans. Follow the links to learn more!
The Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship is a helpful option for eligible children of Service members who gave their life in the line of duty.
Beginning with the Spring semester 2015, the Fry Scholarship will also be available for eligible surviving spouses of Service members who gave their life in the line of duty.
In both cases, the benefits are the same as those provided in Chapter 33 (the Post 9/11 GI Bill).
Chapter 35 (aka DEA)
This type of benefit is an option for eligible dependents of Veterans who are permanently and totally disabled due to a service-related condition, or of Veterans who died while on active duty or as a result of a service-related condition. The main feature of Chapter 35 is the series of monthly payments to the student, who is responsible for paying tuition and fees, room and board to Concordia.
What if I’m eligible for both Ch. 35 and the Fry Scholarship?
Although the two types of benefits cannot be used at the same time, a child may be eligible for up to 48 months of benefits between the two programs.
When a surviving spouse elects to convert to the Fry Scholarship, he or she loses all remaining DEA benefits. If a surviving spouse elects to use DEA instead of the Fry Scholarship, he or she forfeits all future entitlement to the Fry Scholarship.
You may find this comparison chart helpful either way.
Transfer of Eligibility
In some cases, an active duty Service member may be eligible for Chapter 33 benefits, but wish to transfer the unused benefits to one or more of their dependents. In order to do this, they must agree to additional years of service following the date of the transfer.