MyCAA Use Linked to Higher Troop Retention, More Spouse Employment: Study

MyCAA Use Linked to Higher Troop Retention, More Spouse Employment: Study

Troops whose spouses use the Defense Department’s military spouse scholarship program are more likely to stay in the service, while the scholarship users are more likely to be employed, according to a new landmark study on the program.

The Rand Corp. study, released Thursday, looks at the Defense Department’s Military Spouse Career Advancement Account (MyCAA) scholarship program and those who were eligible for or used it between October 2010 and December 2011, when the current program first opened.

The Rand study compared qualifying spouses who used the program with those who did not, combining data from a variety of sources, including the Defense Department and the Social Security Administration, as well as unemployment statistics.

MyCAA grants the spouses of troops in paygrades E1-E5, O1-O2 and W1-W2 up to $4,000 for coursework leading to an Associate’s Degree or covers up to $4,000 in fees for a professional license or certain types of certificates and certifications.

While more than 380,000 spouses were eligible for MyCAA during the study period, only about 35,000 used the program. But troops whose spouses did use the scholarship were six to eight percentage points more likely to stay in the military than those who did not.

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