How Military Spouses Can Boost Their Careers with MyCAA Scholarships
Military spouses looking to advance their education or careers may be eligible for up to $4,000 in tuition assistance as part of the My Career Advancement Account (MyCAA). These funds are a part of the DOD’s Spouse Education and Career Opportunities and assist military spouses in pursuing licenses, certificates, certifications or associate degrees necessary to gain employment in high-demand, high-growth, portable career fields and occupations.
The MyCAA Scholarship provides a maximum tuition benefit of $4,000, with an annual fiscal year cap of $2,000, to assist eligible military spouses who need professional credentials to meet their career goals. Annual cap waivers are available for licensure and certificate programs if there is an upfront tuition cost that exceeds $2,000 (up to the maximum education benefit of $4,000).
Spouses may use their MyCAA funds to pay tuition costs for education, training courses, and examinations leading to an associate degree (excluding associate degrees in general studies, liberal arts and interdisciplinary studies that do not have a concentration). The scholarship covers the costs for obtaining a license, certificate, or certification at an approved school (college, university, technical school, or testing organization in the U.S.). There is an extensive list of exceptions for what is not covered by these funds, so spouses should carefully review this before planning the use of their funds.
Eligible recipients are spouses of active duty service members (including National Guard and Reservists) in specific pay grades (E-1 to E-5, W-1 to W-2, or O-1 to O-2), who have successfully completed high school, and who have the ability to request tuition assistance while their military sponsor is on Title 10 military orders. Spouses who are married but legally separated, or whose spouse is National Guard or reserve in a warning orders or alert, post-deployment, demobilization, or transition status are not eligible for this program. The Coast Guard is not currently included in the program.
Eligible spouses should start the supplication process by establishing a DS Logon, a secure, self-service logon ID that allows DoD and VA affiliates to access several websites using a single username and password. The DS Logon is the same process you use to access other online services like TRICARE or MySECO.
The spouse should then:
- Login or Register with the MYCAA online portal
- Establish MyICP with the Spouse Education and Career Opportunities program
- Create a Goal and Education and Training Plan
- Request Financial Assistance for your course of study
You can also talk to a certified career counselor at 800-342-9647, Monday-Friday 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. EST, and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST. Additionally, spouses with an established account with My Career Advancement Account Scholarship may use the Message Box feature to receive information and assistance quickly.
The MyCAA scholarship is a part of the Spouse Education and Career Opportunities (SECO) initiative that offers numerous resources such as comprehensive counseling, tools for career exploration, education, training and licensing, employment readiness, resume services, and career connections. This portal also includes a list of available scholarships for military spouses.
Written By Megan Hammons