Are you ready to go back to school?
As a military spouse, the My Career Advancement Account (MyCAA) scholarship is one of the greatest educational perks you can get.
MyCAA is a benefit made just for military spouses who are looking for training in highly-portable careers.
Like most military programs, you’ll want to squeeze every last penny out of this perk. Because it’s not a forever benefit, it’s important to have a firm understanding of what the program is, if you’re eligible, and how you can use your benefit.
And, when you decide to go back to school, you’ll want to choose a military friendly school that will look out for your best interests.
Here’s how military spouses can best take advantage of their MyCAA benefit:
Not all military spouses will qualify for MyCAA. If you’re counting on MyCAA for school funding, double check that you’re eligible before you start applying to any educational program. You don’t want to get stuck paying for a program that you thought was covered by MyCAA.
Additionally, you'll need to be a high school graduate to use MyCAA. Financial assistance document(s) also need approval prior to the active-duty service member’s separation date or the active-duty service member’s release from Title 10 military orders.
That means if your service member is getting close to being discharged, you’ll want to get your MyCAA paperwork in ASAP!
Along with MyCAA, you have access to the Department of Defense Spouse Education and Career Opportunities (SECO), a resource for military spouses to use to find work, educational benefits, and more.
Some of the best benefits that go along with MyCAA include:
Career coaching - Perhaps one of the greatest perks of MyCAA is having access to certified career coaches. These coaches will help you develop a Scholarship Education and Training Plan. Within the plan, you'll select your program type and lay out a solid strategy of how you will pursue your educational path. Coaches are available 6 days a week to help students by phone.
Get your program paid for in full - Some certification programs cost much less than the $4,000 offered through MyCAA. Take full advantage of a program that you'll enjoy that will be paid for by the government. You may also be able to secure outside scholarships from local organizations as well.
Laptop borrowing program - Some MyCAA-accredited online schools may have a laptop loaner program if you don't have a working laptop to use for online classes. At the end of the program, you might be able to purchase the laptop at a low cost or just return it to the school.
Other perks you may get under the program: Exams may be paid for under the MyCAA educational benefit if it leads to a license, Associate’s degree, certificate, or certification at an accredited college.
If you're unsure where you want to start, reach out to a military spouse education counselor for help. A SECO career counselor is available to talk you through your options. If you’re interested in IT or healthcare, MedCerts has a team of highly-trained educational consultants to help out, too.
As you start figuring out what you want to do, lean heavily on using the SECO website, which is full of resources to explore your skill sets and interests in various careers. Once you elect to use MyCAA, from start to finish you’ll have help in everything from picking a program to finding a career.
If you’ve always wanted to go back to school, do it sooner rather than later. Once you get some guidance, make sure you take advantage of MyCAA while you're eligible so you’re not missing out on your new potential dream career!
If you are a military spouse or your training is provided through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), you may be eligible for financial assistance to cover all or some of your tuition.
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