It takes dedication, sacrifice and determination to be a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, and the demands of the job are often tough on military families. Being a military spouse often means putting everything else ahead of your own career or educational goals. Fortunately, online education can make it easier to find a degree program that lets you study anytime, anywhere and in a way that fits your busy life. The U.S. government also has some beneficial programs to help military spouses pay for a degree program that can help start or further their career opportunities.
The MyCAA Program
One such program is the My Career Advancement Account Scholarship Program (MyCAA) offered by the Department of Defense. MyCAA provides up to $4,000 of financial assistance to eligible military spouses to assist them in pursuing an associate's degree (excluding those in general studies, liberal arts and interdisciplinary studies that do not have a concentration). The benefits also can be used toward a license or certification at an accredited school or approved testing organization. The program has an annual cap of $2,000, but waivers are available for license and certificate programs with an upfront cost greater than that amount. Spouses may use the funds at any academic institution approved for participation in the program. 1 (See the MyCAA fact sheet for details on what costs the program does and doesn't cover.)
Who qualifies for MyCAA benefits?
To be eligible, you must be a spouse of an active-duty service member in pay grades E1-E5, W1-W2, or O1-O2. This includes spouses of activated National Guard and Reserve members within those ranks, provided you are able to start and complete courses while your spouse is on Title 10 orders. The program does not cover Coast Guard spouses. You must finish your courses within three years from the start date of your first course. 2 You can search for participating MyCAA schools, register, check eligibility and browse a list of potential career paths at the MyCAA Portal.
AIU Military Spouse Grant
To recognize everything military spouses do, our AIU Military Spouse Grant provides up to 10% off tuition to those who qualify. Find out more by contacting one of our Admissions Advisors today.
1 MyCAA Fact Sheet, on the Internet at https://myseco.militaryonesource.mil/Portal/Media/Default/Collaterals_Catalog/Program_Overview/MyCAA-Helping-Spouses-Reach-Career-Goals.pdf (visited 4/27/17)
2 Military.com, "MyCAA Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts," on the Internet at http://www.military.com/education/money-for-school/military-spouse-career-advancement-accounts-financial-aid.html (visited 4/27/17)