What is the Military Spouse Career Advancement Account?

The Military Spouse Career Advancement Account, also called MyCAA, is a military program that provides funds for the spouses of military personnel that helps those spouses go back to school. This program helps those spouses start their careers or further their careers. In addition to providing financing for college students, it also lets spouses seek money for getting job training or for completing programs that will assist with their future careers. Those who qualify must be legally married to someone currently enlisted in a branch of the armed forces.

Resource: Top 15 Online Colleges for Military and G.I. Bill 2015

Who Qualifies?

Men and women qualify for this program if they are married to a member of the armed forces on current active duty status. The program allows spouse to apply while their spouses are on a base overseas or in a different state. Military spouses must have W-1, W-2, O-1, O-2 or E-1 through E-5 status to qualify. Those married to people enlisted in a reserve branch of the military or the National Guard also qualify. This program does not include spouses married to members of the Coat Guard though.

How Much Financing is Available?

MyCAA is similar to a scholarship program because it provides students with a set amount of money that they can use. Students can get up to $2,000 a year for a total of two years, which is a maximum award amount of $4,000 total. In some cases, the military will waive the annual cap and allow students to take the total $4,000 during their first years. This is more common in cases where the cost of the program is higher or the costs of enrolling in the program are higher. Those who receive a waiver will not receive any additional funding the following year.

Programs that Qualify

A Military Spouse Career Advancement Account helps students go back to school or enroll in college for the first time. As it lasts for just two years, it covers many of the associate’s degree programs available from community colleges. It also provides financing for those taking certification exams that will help them in their careers. This includes the certification and licensing exams required of teachers and nurses. The program also allows students to use those funds to pay for programs available from technical and vocational schools as well as full colleges.

Is There Anything the Program Does Not Cover?

The idea behind this program is that it will help military spouses become independent while their spouses are on active duty. That is why it does not cover general studies or liberal arts programs. Students must major in a specific subject based on their career goals. It also does not cover any of the supplies that students might need like a new computer or textbooks. Spouses are responsible for covering the cost of transportation to the campus, any fees charged by the college and any classes that they audit or take without receiving credit.

Spouses of those on active duty status can attend college while their spouses serve their country. Many colleges offer tuition assistance and financial aid packages for those students that lower their overall costs. Those students can also sign up for a Military Spouse Career Advancement Account, also called MyCAA, that gives them $4,000 in scholarship funds that they can use for college and training programs.