Few military spouses are using this $4,000 benefit

Few military spouses are using this $4,000 benefit

The number of spouses of junior personnel who are using the Defense Department’s spouse tuition assistance program declined by about 45 percent between 2011 and 2017, according to a new report by government auditors.

About 7 percent of eligible spouses used the My Career Advancement Accounts in 2017, according to the report from auditors in the Government Accountability Office. The program, commonly referred to as MyCAA, provides up to $4,000 in tuition assistance for education or training for spouses of service members in the paygrades of E1 to E5, W1 to W2, and O1 to O2.

MyCAA funds can be used only for the pursuit of certificates, licenses, or associate degrees in a portable career field ― a high-growth and high-demand field that is most likely to have job openings near military installations. A recent Rand report found that the program may be contributing to higher retention rates, as well as helping the spouses’ job prospects and earnings.

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