What is MyCAA and is it Beneficial?

By - Rachel
11.01.2022 10:48 AM

The My Career Advancement Account (MyCAA) Scholarship was created by the Department of Defense to provide eligible military spouses with financial assistance for workforce development. This scholarship awards the spouses of members of the military with up to $4,000 toward training and testing for licenses, certifications, and associate degrees for certain occupations and careers.

What is MyCAA and How Can I Qualify?

The goal of the MyCAA Scholarship is to help military spouses find success in a career path that can be easily transferred even when moving frequently. Military spouses know first hand how difficult it can be to maintain a consistent career when traveling with an active-duty military member. MyCAA benefits military spouses by assisting with training for careers that can be adapted around constant location changes.

Who is Eligible for the MyCAA Scholarship

Spouses of active-duty service members, National Guard, and reserve members within the following pay grades:

  • E-1 through E-5

  • W-1 through W-2

  • O-1 through O-2

The 2020 National Defense Authorization Act allows military spouses to remain eligible for the MyCAA Scholarship if their sponsor is promoted to ranks outside of those pay grades listed above, if the spouse has an approved Education and Training Plan in place. The passing of that act extends eligibility to spouses who have completed high school or obtained a GED, and spouses who have financial assistance documents approved before the service member’s rank change.

Spouses who are currently employed or who have already obtained advanced degrees can also qualify for the scholarship if they wish to continue their education or advance their career.

What does a MyCAA scholarship pay for?

The MyCAA Scholarship pays for costs related to continuing education courses for licenses, certifications, and associate degrees at participating institutions. 

Covered costs include:

  • Tuition for education and training courses leading to an associate degree

  • Examinations leading to an associate degree

  • Technical school costs for obtaining a license, certificate, or certification

  • Tests and preparatory courses related to a qualifying license or certification

What’s not covered under MyCAA:

  • Books and other supplies*

  • Certain college-level entrance exams

  • Fees and reimbursements

  • Personal enrichment courses

  • And more. See the complete list of costs that aren’t covered here.

*Free laptop included with enrollment through World Education

Do military spouses get financial aid?

The MyCAA program isn’t the only type of financial assistance offered to military spouses. Many organizations offer scholarships to eligible spouses of military members, but finding them and applying within the allowed time frame can be an obstacle for those in need of financial aid. 

The Coast Guard Mutual Assistance Supplemental Education Grant offers aid to service members and their family members by reimbursing costs associated with seeking degrees or a diploma. The Mrs. Patty Shinseki Spouse Scholarship Program offers scholarships on a need basis to army spouses obtaining their first undergraduate degree. The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society Education Assistance Program offers financial aid of up to $3,000 per academic year for military spouses at accredited two- or four-year institutions.

Though these are just a few examples of other financial assistance programs and scholarships, the bottom line is that financial aid outside of MyCAA isn’t as straightforward and accessible to all eligible spouses of military members. Outside of MyCAA and other scholarships, military spouses may need to resort to applying for student loans to cover education costs.

The ease of applying and diversity of portable career programs covered by the MyCAA Scholarship make it an ideal program for military spouses to seek aid from.

What types of programs are eligible for financial aid?

Career paths that are eligible for MyCAA Scholarship funding are meant to be portable, so they can be transferred despite the location changes that often come with being an active military spouse. 

These are some of the programs and career paths eligible for MyCAA funding:

The benefits of using MyCAA

The My Career Advancement Account Scholarship benefits eligible military spouses by providing financial assistance for in-demand career training programs. These training programs are set up for busy military spouses–they can be taken at a person’s own pace and completely online.

The financial assistance provided by MyCAA can be indispensable for military spouses hoping to advance their education or start out on a flexible new career journey. The maximum benefit of $4,000 can be spread out over the course of three years, if needed, and allows spouses the ability to pursue a career they are passionate about.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to get MyCAA approved?

After submitting an Education and Training Plan to MyCAA, approval should be sent within 10 business days. 

Is MyCAA a one-time scholarship?

MyCAA allows spouses $2,000 per fiscal year to be used toward career development. Waivers can be requested to increase financial support to $4,000. The scholarship must be used within three years of the start date of the first course taken.

Can you use MyCAA in tandem with financial aid?

Yes, MyCAA can be used along with financial aid for the same course or program. To take full advantage of the MyCAA Scholarship, those funds should be applied to courses before financial aid is used to supplement payments.

What degrees are covered by MyCAA?

Associate degree programs and qualifying technical licenses and certifications are covered by MyCAA.