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MyCAA: Everything you Need to Know


What Military Spouses Need to Know About MyCAA

If you are a military spouse looking for help paying for your degree, you will want to learn about the My Career Advancement Account Scholarship (MyCAA) and find out if you are eligible.

New Updates on the MYCAA Program

Some exciting news when it comes to the MYCAA program. MYCAA stands for the My Career Advancement Account Scholarship. MYCAA is a program that will give you up to $4,000 of tuition assistance for your education, broken up as $2,000 per year for two years.

The FY20 National Defense Authorization Act expands the MYCAA program. This is great news because before, spouses were limited to what they could study under the program. With this change, military spouses can pursue any license, certification, or associate’s degree to pursue any occupation or career.

Military spouses, school and a Spouse Education and Career Opportunities (SECO) career coach will need to work together to define a clear career path for the military spouse. This plan is called an education and training plan and it will need to be completed in order to receive the funds from MYCAA.

Before this change, MYCAA could only be used toward 13 defined fields and 170 careers. Which limited what you could study or the path you could follow. Now there will be a lot more room to pursue what you really want to pursue.

The rank qualifications of MYCAA have not changed. Your sponsor still needs to be in the pay grades of either E-1 to E-5, W-1 to W-2, and O-1 to O-2.

However, under the new law, spouses will remain eligible for the financial assistance if their sponsor is promoted above the eligible ranks as long as they have initiated the process and have an approved education and training plan in place. This means if a military spouse of an E-5 starts a program, and six months in her spouse promotes to an E-6, they can still continue to use MYCAA.

In March of 2023, MyCAA started to accept spouses of those who are E-6 and O-3. However, they have limited those spouses to the first $1,250.

What Does MyCAA Provide 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 MyCAA Program For?

Military Spouses

ALL Military Spouses?

No, not all. This is who qualifies:

Do National Guard Spouses Qualify for MyCAA?

Yes, but your spouse has 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.

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.

If Legally Separated From My Service Member, Do I Qualify for MyCAA?

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 MyCAA Pays For:

MyCAA will pay for your tuition for:

Is There Anything MyCAA Doesn’t Pay For?

You can’t use MyCAA for books, supplies, equipment, uniforms, computers, or electronic devices.

For further reference, please make sure to check out this PDF.

How to Sign Up for MyCAA

Head 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 Receive $4,000 a Year?

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 license 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. Here’s a list of MyCAA schools, or you can search for schools here.

How Soon Should I Start the Process?

Allow 2 months.

You should submit your education and training plan for approval at least 2 months before you would want to start the program.

What Happens If I’m Not 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 Cannot Cover All of My 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 transferring your spouse’s Post 9/11 GI Bill to you. Additionally, there are many scholarships you can apply for that are specific for military spouses.

RELATED: What I Wish I’d Known Before: Transferring GI Bill Benefits to a Dependent

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.

To get started with MYCAA, you can call Military One Source at 1-800-342-9647 or visit their website. With these changes, more military spouses should be able to work towards their own careers during military life.





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