The Military Spouse Career Advancement Account Program (MyCAA) is a career development and employment assistance program sponsored by the Department of Defense (DOD).
The purpose of the Career Advancement Account is to provide portable career opportunities for military spouses. A portable career is a credential recognized in multiple states and helpful for obtaining job opportunities across the country. Portable careers will make it easier for a military spouse to find a job following a military move.
The Internet-based MyCAA tool allows spouses to apply for up to $4,000 in financial assistance for education, training, licensing, or certification necessary for their portable careers.
MyCAA won't cover tuition for courses and examinations that are not included in an official Education and Training Plan. Also, courses and exams that have already been started or completed are not eligible for funding. Please see the MyCAA FAQs for a complete list of costs not covered by MyCAA.
MyCAA pays the tuition costs for education and training courses and examinations leading to associate's degrees (except for General Studies and Liberal Arts), licenses, certificates, or certifications.
To apply for the $4,000 MyCAA financial assistance, please follow the instructions on the MyCAA page and enroll with UMGC.
No, you still have to apply and be accepted for the course of study at the university or other program and follow their enrollment procedures.
Spouses of active-duty servicemembers in pay grades E1-E5, W1-W2, and O1-O2 who can start and complete their coursework while their military sponsor is on Title 10 military orders, including spouses married to members of the National Guard and Reserve Components in the same pay grades.
How will the spouse's eligibility be verified?
DoD will use DEERS to verify eligibility for MyCAA based on the sponsor's social security number.
If the sponsor has not registered the spouse in DEERS or the spouse's personal information in DEERS is out-of-date, the spouse should contact DEERS at:
For assistance, the spouse may contact a career/education consultant at +1-800-342-9647.
If the military sponsor has a date of separation in DEERS that is less than one year away, is the spouse still eligible? +
Yes, but all coursework must be completed while the military sponsor is still on Title 10 orders.
Effective 20 July 2010, only those spouses of servicemembers who are executing Title 10 military orders will be eligible. This includes spouses of deployed National Guard and Reserve members who are activated on Title 10 orders. Guard and Reserve spouses are no longer eligible from date of alert to 180 days past deployment. In addition, all spouse participants must be able to start and complete their course while their military sponsor is on Title 10 orders.
No, MyCAA legislation specifically excludes spouses who are divorced and spouses who are married to but legally separated from their sponsor under court order or statute of any state or territorial possession of the United States.
No, MyCAA legislation specifically excludes spouses who are also members of the armed forces. Spouses are not eligible if they are on active duty, Guard, Reserve, or Individual Ready Reserve (IRR).
Yes, if the spouse is married to an active-duty or activated Guard or Reserve servicemember, he or she is eligible.
Yes, if the spouse needs a license, certification, credential, education, or training in order to seek or maintain employment or move up in his or her career, then the spouse is eligible for MyCAA financial assistance.
What if a spouse already paid for a class or fee that the spouse wants in the career plan? Can he or she get the money back through MyCAA financial assistance? +
According to Military One Source, spouses cannot be provided a tuition assistance voucher for courses already paid for with personal funds.
If the spouse already has a degree, can he or she take graduate courses with MyCAA financial assistance? +
In order to be eligible for MyCAA funding, coursework must be included in an approved MyCAA Spouse Education and Training Plan. Coursework may include higher level courses needed for Continuing Education units (CEUs) and higher level courses that serve as electives in an approved program of study.
If the spouse needs a graduate degree, but must complete undergraduate coursework before beginning a graduate program, can he or she use MyCAA financial assistance (e.g., pre-med, pre-law, or similar preparatory courses)? +
Yes, as long as the entire $4,000 has not been used and the sponsor is still under Title 10 orders, the spouse may continue to use MyCAA financial assistance.
MyCAA will pay up to $4,000 of the spouse's career plan. The spouse is responsible for any remaining costs. The spouse should contact the career/education consultant (+1-800-342-9647) to discuss the best way to use available MyCAA financial assistance. The spouse may also be eligible for additional funding from sources such as Pell grants, Post‐9/11 GI Bill®1, scholarships, book awards, etc., and may use them in conjunction with MyCAA financial assistance. UMGC Europe financial aid advisors can help students explore other financial aid opportunities as well. Please visit the UMGC Europe financial aid webpage for more information.
Some spouses are currently using MyCAA funding for a bachelor's or master's degree. Will they be allowed to continue using MyCAA funding? +
Beginning 25 October 2010, MyCAA funding is restricted to associate's degrees and programs of study and exams leading directly to licenses and certifications. Please see the MyCAA FAQs for more details.
The spouse needs to confirm that UMGC submitted his or her grades to MyCAA. He or she also needs to notify the career/education consultant when he or she completes the chosen career plan and upon receiving a license, certification, or academic degree. Finally, the spouse needs to let the career/education consultant know when he or she finds a new job.
If the spouse is not interested in financial assistance, can the spouse still participate in MyCAA? +
Yes, the spouse can create a profile, participate in forums, serve as a mentor, talk to a career/education consultant, and access MyCAA resources to help make career and life decisions.
The spouse should notify the attending university once MyCAA is approved.