What You Need To Know About MyCAA

So you want to go back to college. You are a military spouse, and you remember hearing about MyCAA. Only, you are not sure what MyCAA actually is or even if you can qualify for the program. As a military spouse, you want to be able to use MyCAA if you can.

Here is what you need to know about MyCAA:

What does MyCAA even stand for?

MyCAA stands for “My Career Advancement Account Scholarship.”

What will MyCAA give me if I qualify?

This workplace development program will give you up to $4,000 of tuition assistance for your education. However, this is broken up as $2,000 per year for two years.

Who is the program for?

Military spouses

ALL military spouses?

This is what you need to qualify:

  • You have to be a spouse of an active duty service member with a rank of
    • E-1 to E-5
    • W-1 to W-2
    • O-1 to O-2
  • You must have completed high school
  • Your spouse needs to be on Title 10 orders
  • National Guard and Reserves spouses in these pay grades are eligible while their spouse is on active duty

So as a National Guard spouse, I can get MyCAA too?

Yes, but again your spouse have to be activated on Title 10 orders. If they are not, you do not qualify. If your spouse deploys, you can then take advantage of MyCAA and go to school.

For a perspective on being the spouse of a National Guard member, please visit Soldier Wife, Crazy Life (this link will take you offsite).

What are Title 10 orders? 

Title 10 of the US Code outlines the role of the armed forces. Legally, this means being on “active full-time service” as opposed to part-time status like you are a lot of the time in the National Guard or the Reserves.

I am legally separated from my service member, what about me?

No, you would no longer qualify if you are legally separated.

What about Coast Guard spouses?

Unfortunately, Coast Guard spouses do not qualify. Those from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps do.

What will MyCAA pay for?

MyCAA will pay for your tuition for:

  • Associates degrees (excluding general studies, liberal arts, and interdisciplinary studies without a concentration.)
  • Obtaining a license
  • Obtaining a certificate or certification
  • An approved testing organization that expands employment or portable career opportunities for military spouses

So a specific type of program?

Yes, you would need to have a specific program or degree planned. General studies isn’t going to be an option.

Can I use MyCAA for my books?

No, you can’t use MyCAA for books, supplies, equipment, uniforms, computers, or electronic devices. Make sure to check out everything MyCAA won’t pay for before assuming anything.

So how do I sign up?

Head on over to the MyCAA Scholarship Spouse Portal Online. There will be a DEERS eligibility check to confirm if you meet the requirements or not. If you do, you can establish your MyCAA account.

Will I get $4,000 a year then?

No, there is an annual cap of $2,000 per fiscal year. However, there are spending cap waivers if the program you want to do is more than that per year. If your licence or certificate program’s upfront cost is more than $2,000, you should be able to receive that waiver.

Can I use MyCAA at any school?

The school you use MyCAA at has to be accredited by a suitable agency and one that is recognized by the US Department of Education. You can search for schools here.

How soon should I start the process?

You should submit your education and training plan for approval at least two months before you would want to start the program.

What happens if I don’t get approved?

You will get a message from the system letting you know why you were not approved as well as the required steps to take to get approved if that is possible.

What if MyCAA can’t pay for all of education?

Often times MYCAA can’t pay for all of your education. Make sure you also apply for FAFSA, which is the application for federal student aid. You can also look into transfering your spouse’s Post 9/11 GI Bill. There are also scholarships you can apply for, at the school you are going to as well as outside companies and organizations.

How do I get help with all of this?

You can have an appointment with a SECO Career Counselor to help develop an individual career plan. Make sure to also check out the MYCAA Fact Sheet for more information.

Although this seems a bit complicated, once you figure out more about the program and the steps you have to take to apply, you will find that MYCAA is going to be one of the best ways to find money for college as a military spouse.