My Career Advancement Account Scholarship Program
What is the My Career Advancement Account Scholarship program?
The My Career Advancement Account Scholarship is a workforce development program that provides eligible military spouses with financial assistance for licenses, certifications or associate degrees to pursue an occupation or career field.
As part of the Department of Defense Spouse Education and Career Opportunities program, career coaches can assist military spouses with the following:
Spouse Education and Career Opportunities career coaches help spouses explore all career options with tools like career assessments, interest and skill inventories, portable career statistics, and earning potential metrics.
Education, Training, and Licensing:
Spouses work with Spouse Education and Career Opportunities career coaches to create a plan of action that considers financial aid options, education and training program resources, credential and licensing information, and, for eligible spouses, My Career Advancement Account Scholarship. The scholarship provides a maximum education benefit of $4,000 with an annual fiscal year cap of $2,000 to assist eligible military spouses who have completed high school and who need professional credentials to pursue their career goals. Annual cap waivers are available for licensure and certification programs if there is an upfront tuition cost that exceeds $2,000 (up to the maximum education benefit of $4,000).
Spouse Education and Career Opportunities career coaches help spouses perfect their resumes and hone their interviewing skills. Coaches also cover job search techniques, relocation planning, and flexible work options.
Spouse Education and Career Opportunities career coaches help spouses get the right job in the right career by leveraging existing relationships and resources, such as the Military Spouse Employment Partnership, USAJOBS.gov, and CareerOneStop.org.
Who is eligible for the My Career Advancement Account Scholarship?
The My Career Advancement Account Scholarship Program is open to spouses of active-duty service members and National Guard and reserve members under Title 10 orders in pay grades E-1 through E-5, W-1 through W-2, and O-1 through O-2. The authorization of the fiscal 2020 NDAA allows military spouses to remain eligible for the financial assistance offered through the MyCAA scholarship if their sponsor is promoted above the eligible ranks as long as the spouse has an approved education and training plan in place.
- Spouses of service members in the National Guard or reserve in the pay grades listed above
- Spouses who have completed high school or obtained a GED
- Spouses who have financial assistance document(s) approved before the active-duty service member’s date of separation or the active-duty service member’s release from Title 10 military orders
Who is NOT eligible for the My Career Advancement Account Scholarship?
- Spouses married to service members in pay grades E-6 and above; W-3 and above; and O-3 and above. The authorization of the fiscal 2020 NDAA allows military spouses to remain eligible for the financial assistance offered through the MyCAA scholarship if their sponsor is promoted above the eligible ranks as long as the spouse has an approved education and training plan (ETP) in place
- Spouses who are a member of the armed forces themselves currently on Title 10 orders
- Spouses who are married but legally separated (or under court order or statute of any state or US territory) from a member of the armed forces on Title 10 orders
- Spouses whose National Guard or reserve military sponsor is in a Warning Orders/Alert, Post Deployment/ Demobilization or Transition Status
- Spouses who are unable to apply for financial assistance while their military sponsor is on Title 10 orders or before the sponsor’s date of separation
What does the My Career Advancement Account Scholarship pay for?
The My Career Advancement Account Scholarship only pays for tuition for associate degrees and examinations leading to a recognized license or industry certification. The license, certification or associate degree must align with the spouse’s career goal.
What does the My Career Advancement Account Scholarship NOT pay for?
- Tuition for courses and examinations not included in the spouses Education and Training Plan and courses already started or completed by the spouse
- Reimbursements of any kind
- Books, supplies, equipment, uniforms, computers, and electronic devices of any kind
- Student activities, events, and entertainment
- Prepayments or deposits for future courses, unless costs are part of a block of study
- School or college level entrance examinations, comprehensive exams, and related preparatory courses
- Courses, tests, or fees typically paid by an employer as part of a job training program
- Fees of any kind, including, but not limited to, registration fees, technology fees, or parking fees
- Nonacademic credit or ungraded courses, including courses taken on an audit basis or as an internship, practicum, apprenticeship, or clinical supervision; also, nonacademic credit or ungraded orientation programs
- Courses taken more than one time, unless the My Career Advancement Account Scholarship Program has received a full refund from the school
- Academic credit by examination tests (CLEP, DANTES, etc.)
- Associates of Science, Arts, General Studies, Liberal Arts, Health Sciences, Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary associate degrees with no concentration (no emphasis)
- Personal enrichment courses (excluding courses that are for academic credit or graded electives in an approved My Career Advancement Account Spouse Education and Training Plan)
- Transportation, lodging, childcare, and medical services
- Course extensions, except for approved hardship waivers
- Study abroad programs (excluding programs of study offered by participating My Career Advancement Account Scholarship schools on overseas military installations)
- Private licenses (Example: a private pilot’s license would not be covered because it is for recreational use, but a commercial pilot’s license would be covered because it would be used for an occupation)
- High school or GED completion programs, including online high school completion programs
- Courses or programs at unapproved schools or campuses, or other locations not found in the My Career Advancement Account Scholarship Portal
- English as a second language course to learn English
- Continuing education credits to maintain a standing in a professional organization
- Internships not part of an Education and Training Plan and not resulting in a credential needed for employment
- Bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degree courses
- Certificates of completion that do not lead to a certification or license
Will the My Career Advancement Account Scholarship pay for remedial courses?
Yes, the My Career Advancement Account Scholarship will pay for a maximum of nine hours of remedial coursework. The courses must be listed on the plan or the school POC must provide a separate document stating the spouse must take the courses.
What are the My Career Advancement Account website and Academic Institution (AI) Portal URLs and who uses each one?
The official Department of Defense web address for the My Career Advancement Account Scholarship is https://mycaa.militaryonesource.mil/mycaa. Spouses use the website to create accounts, search for approved schools, campuses, or locations, and submit the necessary documents to request My Career Advancement Account Scholarship financial assistance from the Department of Defense while the sponsor is on active duty. School representatives and other organizations are not authorized to create, access, or otherwise advise military spouses on any aspect of their accounts or appointments with career coaches. Spouses may only contact SECO career coaches for account assistance.
Currently, school expectations and on-boarding information is available on the ‘For Institutions’ page of the My Career Advancement Account Spouse Portal. This page can be accessed directly at https://mycaa.militaryonesource.mil/mycaa/school-resources/on-boarding.
The Academic Institution (AI) Portal is where schools maintain accounts. Military spouses are not authorized to access school accounts in the AI Portal. The AI Portal meets all Department of Defense security and Privacy Act requirements. After a school is approved for participation in the program, the school point of contact may register for an account in the AI Portal.
Schools use the AI Portal to:
- Submit new applications
- Take the required orientation
- Input and upload data, such as invoices, payments, and refunds
- Indicate student program completions, noncompletions, and grades
- Add and maintain a list of points of contact
- Upload and keep current term dates and course catalogs for the My Career Advancement Account Scholarship program spouses
The AI Portal is intended to complement the schools’ information systems, not replace them. For example, the invoice number used in a school’s invoicing system should also be used in the My Career Advancement Account system. User Guides, located in the ‘Essential Documents’ section of the AI Portal, are also available to help schools as they are working in the AI Portal.
Why isn’t the My Career Advancement Account Scholarship website displaying properly?
The My Career Advancement Account Scholarship website is compatible with all browsers, including Safari. If information is not being displayed properly, try another browser like Internet Explorer, Chrome, Edge, or Firefox.
What is the My Career Advancement Account tax identification number (TIN)?
The My Career Advancement Account TIN is 52-0813349.
Is the My Career Advancement Account Scholarship funding taxable?
No, the My Career Advancement Account Scholarship funding is considered a scholarship and is not subject to taxation.
What are the responsibilities and expectations of approved My Career Advancement Account Scholarship participating schools and organizations?
Schools and organizations must comply with the terms and conditions agreed to during the application process. The terms and conditions are viewable on the AI Portal.
EDUCATION AND TRAINING PLANS AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
What is an Education and Training Plan?
An Education and Training Plan (ETP) must be completed by the school or institution. An ETP provides a detailed summary of the courses a spouse must take to complete the program/degree. Spouses will obtain the ETP from their school and load the document into their MyCAA Account for review. The Spouse Education and Career Opportunities staff will review the plan to ensure it supports the spouse’s career goals. The review process can take up to 14 business days. Spouses will NOT be able to apply for My Career Advancement Account financial assistance until the ETP has been approved.
The Education and Training Plan Guidance and Template are located at (https://mycaa.militaryonesource.mil/mycaa/school-resources/quick-reference-guide
The final copy of the template must be submitted as a pdf file and contain a wet or digital signature from theschool official completing the document. Failure to use the template will result in a disapproved plan for the spouse.
The SECO program has up to 14 business days to approve, disapprove, or defer the Education and Training Plan.
What CANNOT be included in an Education and Training Plan?
- Courses for a master’s degree or doctorate that do not earn a credential required for employment
- Courses for a bachelor’s degree
- Courses on an audit basis or being repeated, unless the My Career Advancement Account Scholarship Program has received a full refund from the school
Can a spouse pursue an associate degree in any subject?
The associate degree must have a clear major or concentration supporting the career field noted on the Education and Training Plan. The concentration or major for the associate degree cannot be in general studies or liberal arts unless there is a specific concentration, such as general studies-teaching.
Can spouses take graduate courses with the My Career Advancement Account Scholarship funding?
Spouses can take any program of study from an accredited school or institution recognized by the Department of Education or Department of Defense that leads to a license, certification, or associate degree. Coursework must be included in an approved Education and Training Plan.
Are spouses required to complete their courses, certification, or license in a certain timeframe and are there any exceptions?
Yes, the duration of an associate degree course cannot exceed 12 months and a license or certification program cannot exceed 18 months. No exceptions can be made to exceed either of these timeframes. Schools and organizations receiving scholarship funds are required to post grades and program completion status.
Automatic waivers will be granted when schools require an upfront tuition payment that exceeds the annual $2,000 cap, up to the maximum My Career Advancement Account Scholarship benefit amount of $4,000 or the balance of the spouse’s account.
Spouses may request a grade waiver if they fail, withdraw, or receive an incomplete for a course for the first time. In such cases, spouses must contact a Spouse Education and Career Opportunities career coach to discuss the situation and develop a plan to prevent a reoccurrence. Spouse Education and Career Opportunities career coaches can provide additional details on this waiver process requirement.
What is a financial assistance document?
After spouses create an Education and Training Plan and receive My Career Advancement Account Scholarship approval, they can request financial assistance no earlier than 60 days and no later than one day before the start of the course. Financial assistance requests result in a document the school will use as the basis for an invoice. Courses that have different start and end dates must be on separate financial assistance requests.
Spouses must submit all financial assistance requests to the My Career Advancement Account Scholarship program before the sponsor’s date of separation or when the sponsor is no longer serving on Title 10 orders. Spouses, not schools, are responsible for this process and spouses should contact a SECO career coach if they encounter an issue with the financial assistance process. A spouse should NOT start the course or program without an approved financial assistance document.
Can edits be made to financial assistance requests?
Yes, a spouse can make edits to his or her financial assistance requests if the request has not been approved. If the financial assistance has been approved, the spouse will need to call a SECO career coach at 800-342-9647 to see if an edit can be made to the document. Spouses must electronically re-sign any edited financial assistance documents.
Why is it important to verify financial assistance document information prior to course start dates?
The information in the AI Portal must match the official school records. Schools and spouses must work together to ensure the information listed in the spouse’s Education and Training Plan supporting documentation and on all financial assistance documents is correct. This coordinated effort will prevent the need for financial assistance edits, invoicing errors or rejections, and administrative delays. It will also prevent the spouse from being held responsible for paying tuition costs.
While spouses are encouraged to bring hard copies or email copies of their financial assistance documents to their school, these documents are also available to schools electronically in the AI Portal.
How do schools verify financial assistance documents?
Schools review financial assistance documents in the AI Portal. It is very important that schools DO NOT bill the My Career Advancement Account Scholarship program with incorrect information. Schools and organizations can lower the cost of the course during the invoice process. All other edits are the responsibility of the spouse.
Financial assistance documents should match the student record for courses or programs for which the spouse is currently enrolled. Schools and organizations will not be able to invoice until the start date is on the financial assistance document.
Financial assistance documents offer the following information for each spouse:
Page 1: A formal memorandum confirming a spouse is approved to receive My Career Advancement Account Scholarship financial assistance
Page 2: A list showing all course titles, codes, costs, and start and end dates — Confirm the information is correct. These are the only courses for which payment is authorized
For assistance accessing financial assistance documents in the AI Portal, contact the MyCAA Billing Team at MyCAABilling@militaryonesource.mil.
What do schools do if they discover incorrect course codes, titles, start or end dates, or costs on a financial assistance document?
Do not invoice. If the financial assistance has been approved, the spouse will need to call a SECO career coach at 800-342-9647 to see if an edit can be made to the document. Spouses must electronically re-sign any edited financial assistance documents.
If the class has already started, the spouse will need to call a SECO career coach at 800-342-9647 to see if an edit can be made to the document. Spouses must electronically re-sign any edited financial assistance documents. The spouse also has the option to delete a financial assistance document or courses on a financial assistance document prior to approval or class start.
Can a spouse start a class even if the financial assistance document has not been approved?
The My Career Advancement Account Scholarship program will NOT pay for classes or programs if the spouse begins classes without an approved financial assistance document.
What happens if spouses need more than $4,000? Are there other funding sources?
- Contact Military OneSource (800-342-9647) or a Spouse Education and Career Opportunities career coach (by sending a message from the spouse’s Message Box) to request assistance finding other financial resources
- Contact their school Career Services Office or school Financial Aid Office
- Visit the following websites:
- www.ed.gov (Pell Grants)
- https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/post911_gibill.asp or call 800-827-1000 or 888-442-4451
Which schools are eligible to apply to participate in the My Career Advancement Account Scholarship program?
School applicants must offer well-established programs of study in career fields that lead to gainful employment. Refer to the ‘For Institutions’ page on the My Career Advancement Account Portal for eligibility and on-boarding steps. Schools must have operated as a school for a minimum of two years and not be located in a building used as a personal residence.
In order to participate, an institution must be:
- Accredited by an agency recognized by the Department of Education. No candidate or provisional status is allowed.
- Accredited by an industry recognized certification organization or licensed by a state board recognized by the Department of Defense. No candidate or provisional status is allowed.
What schools and organizations are already participating in the My Career Advancement Account Scholarship program?
Schools and campuses participating in the program can be found using the ‘School Search’ function under the ‘Schools & Programs’ tab on the My Career Advancement Account Portal.
How can schools and organizations apply for the My Career Advancement Account Scholarship program?
For information on the “On-boarding” process, visit https://mycaa.militaryonesource.mil/mycaa/school-resources/on-boarding. If a school or organization would like to participate, they may submit an application from this page.
If a spouse asks the school to participate in the My Career Advancement Account Scholarship program, the school is responsible for updating the spouse on the school’s intentions, eligibility, and registration status.
NOTE: Spouses cannot receive My Career Advancement Account Scholarship program financial assistance for courses offered by the school until the school has been determined eligible to participate in the program and has registered users in the AI Portal.
If schools have multiple campuses, does each campus have to be vetted?
Yes, each location and campus provide unique local information, including school official points of contact and programs of study. Schools and organizations with state or industry approvals must submit individual campus applications. AI Portal users can apply for a campus by accessing the AI Portal, select School, Profile, and Submit Campus Application.
Which school officials can make a My Career Advancement Account Scholarship program participation decision?
Assuming the school meets eligibility and accreditation requirements, leaders with decision-making authority at the school will make the final decision regarding the My Career Advancement Account Scholarship program participation.
School officials in the following offices should discuss the program participation requirements outlined in the documents on the My Career Advancement Account Spouse Portal ‘For Institutions’ page:
- Student accounts or bursar’s office
- Financial aid office
- Military or veteran’s liaison office
- Registrar’s office
REGISTRATION AND ACCOUNTS
Why can’t a spouse see a school on the My Career Advancement Account website?
Some of the reasons a spouse may not see a school on the site include:
- The school, campus, or organization has not applied through the AI Portal.
- The school, campus, or organization is still in the on-boarding process and has not been approved.
- The school, organization, or campus has been removed from the MyCAA approved school search.
Contact the Education, Training, and Licensing Team if you have any questions at 334-517-6160, option 2.
How do points of contact register and activate user accounts in the AI Portal?
After approval to participate in the program and completion of the on-boarding process, each individual user must log-in to the AI Portal to register for an individual account.
Due to security reasons, ALL users must create and maintain their own accounts. Individual accounts are attached to a larger school account and cannot be shared with anyone else.
When an AI Portal user leaves the school or their My Career Advancement Account Scholarship program-related position, the Unit Account Controller should contact the Education, Training, and Licensing team at 334-517-6160, option 2 or by email at email@example.com. The User Account Controller should take away all AI Portal permissions for the user and suspend the account. The school must maintain one active authorized user to remain eligible for the MyCAA program.
The Department of Defense considers it a security violation to share usernames and passwords. If users are found to be sharing login credentials, the entire school or organization may be removed from participation in the program.
What are the roles and responsibilities of a school’s User Account Controller?
The school appoints a User Account Controller, or UAC, to oversee and manage all other users attached to an account. The UAC is responsible for approving new user requests, assigning permissions, resetting passwords and locking or unlocking user accounts for all associated users of the AI Portal.
Each school with two or more users is required to maintain at least one user with UAC permissions. For larger schools and schools with multiple campuses, there should be at least two, and no more than five, UACs per school.
When can schools submit an invoice online?
Only users with Invoice Tech permissions can submit invoices. Users should submit invoices in the AI Portal on or after the course start date on the financial assistance documents. Schools and organizations must verify all information on the document is correct prior to invoicing.
To prevent the need for refunds to the My Career Advancement Account Scholarship program that are related to course changes, schools are advised to wait until after the official school drop/add period has ended to invoice the program.
School officials must invoice no later than 60 days after the course start date shown on the financial assistance document.
User Guides in the AI Portal ‘Essential Documents’ section include step-by-step instructions on invoicing. These guides also explain how to invoice a dropped course and the proper use of invoice status codes.
For additional assistance, contact the MyCAA Billing Department by calling 334-517-6160, Option 1 or send an email to MyCAABilling@militaryonesource.mil.
Can a school combine multiple financial assistance documents on one invoice?
Yes, however, the invoice cannot exceed $50,000. Also, if separate receipts are needed for each spouse, the school needs to submit a separate invoice for each spouse. Invoices must be from the same fiscal year start date as listed on the financial assistance document. The fiscal year for AI Portal purposes is Oct. 1, through Sept. 30.
What are the rules for collecting payment from the My Career Advancement Account Scholarship program?
The key administrative requirements for collecting payment are separate from invoicing and include the following:
- The My Career Advancement Account Scholarship program pays by MasterCard only. No Electronic Funds Transfer or Automatic Clearing House are permitted.
- PayPal cannot be used with the My Career Advancement Account Scholarship program. This is primarily because the program cannot process refunds through PayPal.
- The My Career Advancement Account produces one Payment Authorization Letter for a specific authorized amount that must be processed in ONE transaction. If a receipt is required for each student spouse, separate invoices must be submitted to the program.
- Once a Payment Authorization Letter has been uploaded to the AI Portal by My Career Advancement Account, the invoice is locked and cannot be changed or deleted.
- Any required downward adjustments to the amount shown on the Payment Authorization Letter must be resolved through a refund to the My Career Advancement Account program credit card that was used to pay the invoice. The My Career Advancement Account program cannot accept any other form of refund. Please note: REFUNDS CANNOT BE GIVEN TO SPOUSES.
What are the steps for the school in the My Career Advancement Account Scholarship program invoicing process?
These are the five steps:
- Review all financial assistance enrollments.
- Create and submit an invoice online in the AI Portal.
- Check the status of the invoice.
- Retrieve the Payment Authorization Letter.
- Process the MasterCard number on the letter for payment. No actual card is sent.
What if a spouse has more than one source of funding to pay for a class?
Spouses can use two sources of federal education benefits to pay for the same course or program. The My Career Advancement Account Scholarship funds must be applied to the tuition costs only and spouses may NOT receive a direct refund of My Career Advancement Account Scholarship monies.
How long does it take to process a My Career Advancement Account Scholarship program invoice?
After an invoice is received and approved via the AI Portal, it can take up to 30 calendar days to process and upload the My Career Advancement Account Payment Authorization Letter, which contains the MasterCard number. Schools can track via the AI Portal when invoices were submitted to know the approximate date to expect Payment Authorization Letters.
May an educational agency or institution disclose personally identifiable information from education records to the My Career Advancement Account program under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or FERPA?
Yes, the FERPA recognizes that an electronically signed and dated written consent from an individual is acceptable for permitting the release of personal information according to Title 34, Volume 1, Part 99, Subpart D.
Additional information is available on the Department of Education website.
What is the grade requirement for the My Career Advancement Account Scholarship program?
Schools and organizations will use the list of grades in the AI Portal and choose the one that correlates to what is shown on the student's transcript.
Course grades must be posted to the AI Portal within 60 days of course end dates. Spouses will not be able to access additional financial assistance until this requirement is met. Grades cannot be posted until the course end date on the financial assistance document.
When spouses electronically sign the My Career Advancement Account Spouse Terms and Conditions Agreement, they give permission to the Department of Defense and My Career Advancement Account and their school to share information, such as grades. Additionally, page 2 of the financial assistance document summarizes their agreement to key points in the My Career Advancement Account Spouse Terms and Conditions Agreement.
What is the connection between grades and the My Career Advancement Account Scholarship program financial assistance?
The My Career Advancement Account automatically prevents a spouse from requesting additional financial assistance based on grades in these two cases:
- If a spouse receives a grade of F, W (with an associated cost), U, N or O. The Department of Defense allows spouses to request grade waivers, including a Forgiveness Waiver and a Hardship Waiver. Both waivers must be requested by the spouse through the My Career Advancement Account Spouse Portal.
- If there is a second course failure, the spouse’s account will be permanently locked and no further My Career Advancement Account Scholarship program funding will be available.
What if a spouse needs additional time beyond the course end date on the funding document?
The MyCAA program follows the respective school’s policy for course extensions. However, the grade technician must post an “I” (incomplete) for the course when an extension is granted. If the spouse doesn’t complete the course in 180 days from the course end date, then the grade technician should change the grade to “N” (non-completion). The grade can be changed in the AI Portal up to one year from the course end date. After that time, an official document can be e-mailed to the Education, Training, and Licensing team to update.
What does the program completions queue in the AI Portal mean in the My Career Advancement Account Scholarship program?
The queue in the AI Portal is a place for schools and institutions to post the completion status of a military spouse in a specific program. A program completion signifies a spouse has finished a program of study at the institution. A program non-completion signifies a spouse has NOT finished a program of study at the institution. The AI Portal provides a list of various reasons a military spouse may not have completed a program.
If the completion or non-completion status of a program changes after posting an official document can be e-mailed to the Education, Training, and Licensing team.
The My Career Advancement Account Scholarship program is dedicated to focusing on the career development of its participants. As such, school officials should update the program completion section of the AI Portal as the program completion or non-completion status occurs for each student using the scholarship. This allows the My Career Advancement Account program to track the overall success of the program and aids coaches in identifying opportunities to assist spouses with employment readiness and career connections.
What happens if a spouse fails a course?
A hold for additional funding will be placed on the spouse’s account until he or she talks to a Spouse Education and Career Opportunities career coach and develops a plan for successfully completing future courses using the My Career Advancement Account Scholarship funding. A second course failure or withdrawal may result in the spouse’s My Career Advancement Account Scholarship being permanently suspended
THE MY CAREER ADVANCEMENT ACCOUNT PROGRAM CONTACTS
Who should schools contact for assistance?
The following contact information is for use by SCHOOL OFFICIALS only. Spouses are strictly prohibited from using this contact information because it causes significant administrative delays.
For general My Career Advancement Account program information assistance for new schools, additional campuses approved partner schools, contact the My Career Advancement Account Education, Training, and Licensing team at 334-517-6160, Option 2 or send an email to MyCAASchools@militaryonesource.mil.
For payment and invoicing related questions, call the Billing Team at 334-517-6160, Option 1 or send an email to MyCAABilling@militaryonesource.mil.
For technical questions about the AI Portal, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For new schools or additional campuses or locations of schools that are already eligible, call 334-517-6160, Option 2 or send an email to the My Career Advancement Account Education, Training and Licensing team at MyCAASchools@militaryonesource.mil.
Send an email to MyCAAFeedback@militaryonesource.mil for good news stories, policy questions and to share ideas and recommendations about the My Career Advancement Account Scholarship program and website.