Last year the US Department of Defense launched a program called called the Military Spouse Career Advancement Account or MyCAA. It offered military spouses $6,000 towards their graduate and post-graduate education. This was a wonderful, unexpected blessing for the many women who have had to sacrifice their careers because of frequent deployments and moves. Needless to say, the program was immensely popular, over 136,000 women applied and around 98,000 were enrolled by February 2010. Many women made life altering choices, like quitting jobs, once this funding was approved for them.
On February 16 the program was suddenly frozen and nobody was notified, not the participating spouses, not the schools, no one. They just put up an announcement on the MyCAA website for us to randomly find and eliminated access to the approved funds. We understand this grant is a gift, yes, but once it is given, it should not be taken away. What about the thousands of women that are in in the middle of a semester or trimester right now, counting on the program? I went back to school encouraged by this help. I am in the middle of a class as you read this, and l have to find a way to pay for it out of pocket, because the loans I will now need to take out won't come through fast enough. I know many women who will have to drop out. It's like we were given a future, all wrapped up in a shiny snow-globe and just like that they shattered it without notice.
This has been handled so poorly, it is shameful. Most women have found out through Twitter, Facebook and Family Readiness Group emails. There has been no communication between the DoD and us, they put out a misleading announcement on their "Family Matters" blog eight days after the program halt saying, "the pause will not affect approved enrollees" and that is a lie. We cannot access the funds anymore. Period. It will affect enrollees, it does, it has. It so sad to be swept away so inconsequentially, especially when funds were being not being allocated for guns or bombs, but for the education of the women who take care of the families of our servicemen. This program was giving us tools and skills to go out into the world and become productive. It was money well invested, instead it will end up creating dropouts. I truly hope they unfreeze the funds and let us graduate.
Here is the Take Action Against MyCAA Shutdown Facebook group for testimonials.
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