Survivors and Dependents Assistance

There are two main GI Bill programs offering education assistance to survivors and dependents of Veterans:

  • The Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship (Fry Scholarship) is available for children and spouses of Servicemembers who died in the line of duty after September 10, 2001. 
  • The Survivors' and Dependents' Educational Assistance (DEA) Program offers education and training opportunities to 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.

You may be eligible for more than one of these programs. In most situations, you will be required to make an irrevocable election between the DEA program and Fry Scholarship when you apply. Beneficiaries are not able to use the same qualifying event for more than one benefit unless you are a child of a Servicemember that died in the line of duty prior to August 1, 2011. 

  DEA Fry Scholarship
Benefit Payments Monthly amount paid directly to the student. The current monthly payment for full-time training is $1,018.

Tuition & Fee Payment (Paid to School) - Full in-state tuition costs covered for training pursued at public institutions. Up to $20,035.02 per year at private institutions

Books and Supplies Stipend (Paid to Student) - Up to $1,000 a year for books and supplies. Paid to the student proportionately for each term.

Monthly Housing Allowance (Paid to Student) - Stipend based on local BAH for E-5 with dependents and paid monthly. Online students receive half of the BAH national average

Duration of Benefits Surviving Spouses of those who died in the line of duty may use benefits for up to 20 years from the Servicemember's date of death. 15 years from the Servicemember's date of death
Maximum Months of Benefits 45 months 36 months
Concurrent Receipt of DIC and Education Benefit for Spouse Yes Yes
Programs Covered
  • College, Business, Technical, or Vocational Programs
  • Certification Tests
  • Apprenticeship/On-the-Job Training
  • Tutorial Assistance
  • Work-study
  • College, Business, Technical, or Vocational Programs
  • Certification Tests
  • Apprenticeship/On-the-Job Training
  • Vocational flight training
  • Tutorial Assistance
  • Work-study