What is a MYCAA Military Spouse Scholarship?
While a service member is overseas, the spouse can get assistance on starting and developing a new career. A recent survey of military wives has shown that the rate of unemployment in eighteen to twenty-four year old female military spouses is very high (approximately thirty percent); an unemployment rate that's almost three times greater than ordinary civilians in the same age group. Since many of the spouses are constantly re-locating, struggling with higher unemployment rates and lower pay rates than other civilians, the Department of Defense has many assistance programs which includes the Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts program (MyCAA). The MyCAA program is part of a larger Department of Defense program called Spouse Education and Career Opportunities (SECO) program. The goal of SECO is to provide the spouse with the opportunity to explore high growth career possibilities, get trained for these careers and work on job hunt skills.
The MyCAA military spouse scholarship program is a scholarship that will provide the spouse with financial assistance for his/her education. The program can supply up to 4,000 dollars in financial assistance with a yearly cap of 2,000 dollars. This money can be used to pay for tuition but not books. The job training programs are selected for high growth jobs that are portable as the family moves from place to place. Some of the possible areas that spouses can study are legal, education, cosmetology, journalism, writing and many others. The money is intended to be used for an associate's degree, certificate or licensure rather than a Master's degree program or bachelor's degree. Over 3,000 schools participate in this program. If the school isn't listed, a potential student can refer the school to the MyCAA portal.
To qualify, the spouse must be married to an active service member. A spouse of a member of the National Guard and Reserves can qualify if the member is on active duty. Since the Coast Guard is part of the Department of Homeland Security instead of the Department of Defense, the spouse of a Coast Guard does not qualify. There are other scholarship offers in addition to this one from each of the branches of service. So the Coast Guard member's wife will want to look into scholarship opportunities through the Coast Guard.
The MyCAA program began in 2007 and was expanded in 2009. The program was closed to new spouses in 2010 while the program was under review. The program resumed in October 2010. According to an article on DoDLive's website by Rosemary Fritos Williams (Deputy Assistant of Secretary of Defense of Military Community and Family policy), the MyCAA program "provided scholarships to 28,875 spouses" in fiscal year 2013. This program is now being looked at as a way to help families to transition from active duty to civilian life as the US works on reducing the size of our forces.
In summary, the MyCAA program is a scholarship program that is intended to help military spouses to begin new careers. The areas of study are focused on high growth jobs that a person can find in almost all areas.