Dear MyCAA

Dear MyCAA,

I am trying to register for classes before your October deadline, and it is pretty darn difficult.  I send emails and wait weeks for a reply.  I made a mistake on a Financial Assistance form and it doesn’t seem anyone is able to correct it.  I call and get disconnected, put on hold forever, or told that no one can help me right now.

I hope that you use this time in October to make numerous improvements to the system.



About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.
  • Brenda

    Dear MyCAA,

    Let me first start by saying a thank you for the original version of the MyCAA. It allowed me, the wife of an E6, the opportunity to complete my Master’s in Special Education without having to borrow thousands of dollars that, depending on my ability to obtain employment within six months of graduating wherever we are living at the moment, I may or may not be financially able to repay. I currently hold a teaching license in another state that is all but worthless in the state we currently reside. It takes approximately 1-2 years to get a teaching license converted over from another state to this one, and I just can’t justify the time and expense when we will only be stationed here maybe 2 or 3 years. So, I went from being a fairly well-paid teacher (more than my husband makes now) to a contract employee making about half of what I used to when and if the contract is given hours by the government. So, to those spouses who were not fortunate enough to benefit from the original MyCAA, you will probably not qualify for the new program because of its strict guidelines that exclude applicants based on your spouse’s rank or the level of education you wish to pursue. MyCAA no longer pays for spouses of E6 service members (yet it pays for spouses of WO1, WO2, O1, and O2). I also will not pay for Bachelor’s or Master’s programs. I guess the message here is to aim low in your educational pursuits and encourage your spouse not to advance too quickly. This is the message I am hearing based on the changes being implemented. I realize far more spouses took advantage of the program than the budget could handle, but I feel the amount of financial aid could have been reduced (which it was) as opposed to setting such strict limits on who can use it and for which programs. Without my income, my kids qualify for governemtn programs (based on my husband’s pay) such as WIC and Reduced Lunches, so why are we excluded from benefits to help us get out of the near poverty tax bracket? I just don’t understand why the goverment would take away such a valuable resource from those who desperately need it.

  • Yahayra

    Thanks for posting this Brenda. This semester I got punish for being the spouse of an E6, MYCAA won’t pay for my classes anymore. I’m so pissed about this new changes since I had already the printed voucher saying those classes would be paid by them, now I’m just in a predicament and they are not responding. How is the education of an WO1 spouse and above more Important than mine? I just don’t get it. My husband has fought in their war and risked his life just like them, I guess the support for the families education is not important now.

  • Yahayra, if you have approved FA documents for classes that begin before 31 January 2011, they should be covered by MyCAA. Please contact them to make sure everything is properly organized. Even us folks who are losing their eligibility under the new program can take classes that begin up until 31 January 2011, as long as they have already been approved.

    I hope this helps.

  • Heather

    the government does not OWE you money as a SPOUSE. You want free tuition…join the military yourself and use TA.

    • NotEligible

      Heather, I believe the position advocated here is that WO1, WO2, O-1, and O-2 military members draw a greater income, housing allowance, ectc than enlisted (E6) counterparts, yet the spouses of these members are able to enjoy continued tuition assistance whereas E6 spouses have been adversely affected by the budget cut. It would seem that tuMYCAA would be better allocated to groups who need the financial assistance and who are less likely to be able to afford higher education without such allowances.

  • Mandi

    While the WO1, WO2, O-1, O-2 service members do make more than an E6, I believe the target beneficiaries for the MYCAA program were younger spouses, in order to encourage advancement and help them receive the support they need to be successful as spouses and as their own individuals. As an E-6 spouse I can tell you that I agree it sucks I was never able to make use of this program but I can also tell you that having been married to a service member for a longer time, I feel more equipped to handle the challenges that come along with his career. I may not be able to use it but I am glad it is still there for those who could benefit the most from it.