The Department of Defense sets aside $100 million for spouse employment programs every year—and millions are left unclaimed! If you are a military spouse not taking advantage of the MyCAA military spouse scholarship, you are not alone. Here is a deeper look at the program, common concerns, and why you should act now in taking advantage of these funds.
The MyCAA Program
The MyCAA program finances career training for military spouses, offering up to $4,000 in financial assistance. These funds can be put toward an associate degree, license, or certification leading to employment in an in-demand, high-growth, portable career. Many schools are MyCAA-approved, and a simple, online application may be all that is standing between you and a fulfilling career.
With such easily available funds, it is astounding how little of the MyCAA funding is used. To give you an idea, there are 1.2 million eligible military spouses, and only 28,875 took advantage of MyCAA scholarships in 2013. Additionally, according to a survey by Rand Corp, more than half of military spouses who did not use the MyCAA program didn’t even know it existed; it’s important you don’t miss out on such a great opportunity.
Those who were aware of the MyCAA program but did not use it stated concerns about eligibility. As long as you meet the following requirements, you are eligible for MyCAA funds:
• Spouse of a service member on active duty in the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marines.
• Service member is within pay grade E-1 to E-5, W-1 to W-2, and O-1 to O-2.
• If service member is in the National Guard, the spouse must be able to start and complete the coursework while their spouse is on Title 10 military orders.
If eligible, choose a program at a registered school that fits the criteria—remember, the training must prepare you for an in-demand, portable job.
According to the same survey, the most frequently reported reason for not using the scholarship was time constraints. If you are concerned about schedule constraints, check out online training programs; you have the flexibility to complete your coursework when you can, be it during naptime or after your shift. If you are concerned about finishing training and landing a job before you move base, certificate training programs are ideal. You can be trained and begin working within a year in any number of careers including medical transcription, medical coding and billing, computer repair, and administrative assisting.
85% of military spouses want or need work, and MyCAA is your quick ticket to making that dream a reality. Don’t let another year go by without taking advantage of these funds and registering for an approved program. Looking for MyCAA training programs at an approved school? Check out Career Step’s MyCAA-approved programs and tips for making the most of this funding program.