Can I Use MyCAA If My Spouse is Getting Promoted to a Higher Rank?

Can I still use MyCAA if my spouse is going to be promoted to a rank that doesn’t qualify for the scholarship funding?

 

First off, congratulations! That is exciting that your spouse is getting promoted to a higher rank and it shows hard work and resilience! This blog post will help you know your options with MyCAA now that they are getting promoted. It’s true, your spouse’s rank greatly impacts whether you qualify for the My Career Advancement Account (MyCAA) scholarship. To qualify for the $4,000 MyCAA scholarship, your spouse must be on active duty (on Title 10 orders) and the rank of E1-E5, O1-O2, or W1-W2. You must be their legal spouse enrolled in DEERS.

 

Many spouses find themselves in the situation where they didn’t know about MyCAA or didn’t know how to use MyCAA and now their spouse is about to be promoted and they are in a rush to use their benefits. Does that sound like you?

What do you do in that situation with your spouse promoting to a higher rank? Do you still qualify for MyCAA if your spouse is promoted to a rank that is too high for the program’s requirements? Keep reading to find out the answer.

The good news:

Even if your spouse is getting promoted, there is a way to still use MyCAA- but it takes action on your part BEFORE they gain rank. 

Have you been hearing conflicting messages? You’ve come to the right place! There is a lot of misinformation out there and I have good news! This has recently changed and many programs, fellow spouses, and professionals do not know the correct and must up to date information. 

 

What if I’m short on time to use the MyCAA scholarship because of my spouse’s rank?

As of 2020, a spouse that submits a MyCAA Education Plan with Spouse Education and Career Opportunities (SECO) with a program of their choice BEFORE their spouse is promoted will have that entire education plan paid for. However, the one catch is not just having the education plan with SECO set to go and approved, but you also must have at least some of the funds disbursed.

For example, let’s say your program has five classes that are all correctly listed and documented on your education plan. You have to at least get the first class paid for before your spouse is promoted outside of the required ranks. Because you started the program prior to their rank changing, you will get that education plan paid for.

Basically, you have to get it all approved before your spouse gets promoted. For example, if your spouse is an E-5 and knows they are going to be promoted in 3 months, you have that amount of time to find a quality program and get your education plan submitted and the first course started. Military One Source and SECO are really great, but I would not wait until the last minute if you are in this situation!

MyCAA is a $4,000 scholarship from the Department of Defense specifically for active duty military spouses. Your spouse must be in the ranks of E1-E5, O1-O2, or W1-W2. You must be their legal spouse and registered in DEERS to qualify. Every branch of the military now qualifies for MyCAA.  

 

What is included in an Education Plan?

Your education plan is created by the program you are going to attend with the list of required classes and their tuition costs. This will make it clear to you and MyCAA how much the program tuition costs and if it will be entirely covered by the $4,000 education funding. Then, you upload this document through your portal on the SECO website. Shortly thereafter, if it all checks out, it will be approved and you can move ahead with getting your first class or test paid for.

Keep in mind however this education plan will not tell you other expenses there may be, such as the cost of books or supplies. MyCAA does not cover those costs and you will have to pay for those out of pocket. Keep that in mind as you research programs. (Or contact me!)

Because the program has to make the education plan document, that part is sadly out of your control. You should get in contact with the program’s MyCAA coordinator. Some larger schools will have a specific person for handling MyCAA and others might have you go through their military benefits office. If the admissions staff or the school does not have someone that knows about your military education benefits, this could be a longer process. You would think that MyCAA approved programs would know how to help you, but not all of their staff are educated about it! That is why I started Military Spouse Education and would love to help you.

 

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