Unofficially referred to as Spouse Tuition Assistance, the Department of Defense recently expanded Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA) program can provide up to $4,000 of Financial Assistance for military spouses.
The Department of Defense reopened the popular MyCAA program in October 2010, with several key changes in eligibility and dollar amounts.
Here is a summary of the changes:
- Be available to spouses of active duty service members in pay grades E1-E5, W1-W2, and O1-O2. including the spouses of activated Guard and Reserve members within those ranks. Spouses of Guard and Reserve members must be able to start and complete their courses while their sponsor is on Title 10 orders.
- Offer a maximum financial benefit of $4,000 with a fiscal year cap of $2,000. Waivers will be available for spouses pursuing licensure or certification up to the total maximum assistance of $4,000
- Require military spouses to finish their program of study within three years from the start date of the first course
- Be limited to associate degrees, certification and licensures
More details about the changes will be posted as they are made available.
The Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA) program provides up to $4,000 (over 2 years) of Financial Assistance for military spouses who are pursuing degree programs, licenses or credentials leading to employment in portable career fields.
Spouses of active duty service members in pay grades E1-E5, W1-W2, and O1-O2, as well as the spouses of activated Guard and Reserve members within those ranks. Spouses of Guard and Reserve members must be able to start and complete their courses while their sponsor is on Title 10 orders.
Note: The MyCAA program does not include Coast Guard spouses.
Click here to download the MyCAA FAQ booklet from Military OneSource. (pdf)
The MyCAA Benefit Details
MyCAA Financial Assistance (FA) pays tuition for education and training courses, and licensing/ credentialing fees. This includes state certifications for teachers, medical professionals and other occupations requiring recognized certifications; licensing exams and related prep courses; Continuing Education Unit (CEU) classes including those offered through professional associations; and degree programs leading to employment in Portable Career Fields. MyCAA also pays for High School Completion courses, GED tests and
English as a Second Language (ESL) classes.
- MyCAA does not pay for education and training programs that include computers (CPUs or laptops); application, graduation or membership fees; student activity cards; child care; parking; transportation; or medical services.
- If a spouse enrolls in a course without an approved MyCAA Financial Assistance (FA) document, the spouse will be responsible for paying course costs.
- MyCAA does not provide reimbursements of any kind to spouses for any reason.
- MyCAA FA payments are made directly to schools using MyCAA’s electronic invoicing system. As A Second Language (ESL) Classes and GED Classes and Testing Programs.
- Unfortunately, Coast Guard spouses are not covered by the MyCAA Spouse Employment congressional mandate: PL 110-417 Sec 582. Coast Guard is a part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), not the Department of Defense.
The MyCAA Application Process
Eligible spouses can establish a MyCAA Account by visiting the MyCAA website ~ https://aiportal.acc.af.mil/mycaa
. Once spouse Profile information is provided, MyCAA will verify spouse DEERS benefit eligibility. Eligible spouses will be allowed to create their Career and Training Plan and request FA when they are within 30 days of course start dates. Additionally, spouses are responsible for applying to their selected school or program and enrolling in each course included in their approved MyCAA Career and Training Plan.
Military spouses can help themselves by:
- Visiting www.careeronestop.org to explore Portable Career Fields and find schools that have programs of study leading to licenses, certificates and degrees.
- Finding their school in the MyCAA website using the School Search function. If the desired school is not listed, follow the directions shown at the end of the School Search.
- Establishing and managing their MyCAA Account at https://aiportal.acc.af.mil/mycaa, use MyCAA resources to create a Career and Training Plan, and apply for FA.
School Academic Advisors can help spouses:
- Select a school, program of study, and sources of licensing and certification exams.
- Select classes for their MyCAA Career and Training Plan. School officials need to validate school and course information to avoid billing problems.
Military OneSource Career and Education Consultants (1-800-342-9647) can help spouses:
- Explore career interests, evaluate school options, and compare programs of study.
- Develop and implement their Career and Training Plans successfully.