In this lagging economy, even Uncle Sam is struggling to pay college tuition bills. In 2010, the Department of Defense revamped the rules guiding the disbursement of the military spouse career advancement account (MyCAA) program. The change meant only spouses of junior service members would receive the scholarships, leaving nearly 30,000 students without funding. Scores of angry spouses lit up message boards across the Internet. Bryant & Stratton College Online filled the gap by offering $6,000 to military spouses through its Salute to Spouses Scholarship. Depending on their enrollment — full or part time — military spouses can receive up to $600 and $1,200 per semester. College officials said they felt offering the additional money was the least they could do for military spouses because they give so much to the nation. "When we saw that the MyCAA program was suspended we saw the need and felt it was only appropriate to offer this scholarship," said Ed Dennis, military and corporate relations manager at Bryant & Stratton College Online. He said military spouses routinely perform well at the school. "They are great students and they sacrifice so much as a military spouse," he said. "It felt right to offer the scholarships." MyCAA grants each spouse only $2,000 per year. Students can apply for a waiver to cover licenses or certifications that cost more, though no one will receive more than $4,000 with the waiver. Qualifying military spouses can receive both the MyCAA and the Salute to Spouses Scholarship to use at Bryant & Stratton College Online. DOD officials said the MyCAA program will not change again to include spouses of all ranks, and no program will be created to pay tuition for spouses of higher ranking service members. Are you a military spouse ready to apply to Bryant & Stratton College Online? First, visit http://online.bryantstratton.edu/salute/. At this website, you can learn more about the online degree programs offered at Bryant & Stratton College and apply for the Salute to Spouses Scholarship. To be eligible for the scholarship, you must submit the following:
- A copy of your spouse’s orders (indicating active-duty status).
- A copy of your marriage certificate.
- A high school diploma or equivalent.
- A written essay, part of the online application.
Need to learn more about MyCAA? Visit https://aiportal.acc.af.mil/mycaa/, where you can learn more about the eligibility requirements for the MyCAA program and register. To be eligible for MyCAA, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be the spouse of an active-duty service member in paygrades E1- E5, W1-W2 and O1-O2.
- Use the money only for an associate degree, licensure or certificate program.
- Only National Guard and Reserve spouses whose service members are executing Title 10 orders will be eligible. College courses must be begun and completed while the military member is on Title 10 orders. In the past, there was a larger window of time during a unit’s activation period that spouses could apply.