Paycheck Chronicles

Senate Committee Agrees to Cut MyCAA

UPDATE:  Good news, bad news.  As more information becomes available, it seems that the cuts to MyCAA spending are NOT because of cuts to the program, but rather because fewer spouses are using it.

The Military Officers Association of American (MOAA) is reporting that the Senate Armed Forces Committee has agreed to $120 million in cuts to the popular military spouse scholarship program called MyCAA.  MOAA is getting their information from CQ.com, a subscription news service that reports on congressional activity.

Obviously, this is third hand information at this point, but these are reliable sources.  It wouldn't be surprising if MyCAA funds are cut.  The Department of Defense (DoD) has been tasked with slashing its budget and extras like MyCAA are easy targets.  In addition, enrollment in the MyCAA program has been hurt by the restrictive new eligibility guidelines.  Less participation means less need for funds, and as we all know, the military budget world works on a "use it or lose it" basis.

MyCAA is a DoD initiative that provides funding for military spouses to pursue certificates, licenses and associates degrees in certain career fields determined by the DoD to be portable and suited to the lives of military spouses.  Originally opened in 2009 to a broad category of spouses studying a wide variety of subjects, the program quickly outgrew its funding.  As a result, there was an abrupt suspension of the program in 2010.  When it was reopened, it was to a limited group of military spouses and was restricted to particular programs.  These new restrictions have made it very hard for spouses to utilize the program.

As with all military benefits, I always recommend taking advantage of them when they are available because you never know when the offer might change.

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