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Early Evidence from the My Career Advancement Account Scholarship for Military Spouses: Work, Earnings, and Retention

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RAND Corporation Santa Monica United States

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The U.S. Department of Defense established the My Career Advancement Account MyCAA Scholarship to help mitigate the impact of the demands of military life on the education and employment of military spouses. Promoting spouse education and employment in a portable career are the immediate goals of the MyCAA Scholarship. Longer-term outcomes of interest include increasing family financial stability, satisfaction with military life, and retention of military personnel, which can increase overall readiness. Scholarship eligibility focuses on spouses of early career service members who are on active-duty Title 10 orders i.e., full-time federal service in the pay grades of E-1 to E-5enlisted, W-1 to W-2 warrant officer, and O-1 to O-2 officer. The scholarship provides up to 4,000 in tuition assistance for spouses pursuing associates degrees, occupational certificates, or licenses in portable career fields. The RAND Corporation conducted an early evaluation of the potential for the MyCAA Scholarship to improve the employability and earnings of eligible military spouses. To assess the scholarship, RAND researchers examined the 20072013 employment and earnings of spouses who were eligible for the scholarship when the current version of the MyCAA Scholarship began between October 2010 and December 2011. Focusing on early users allowed adequate time for at least some of these early recipients to complete their education or training program and find employmentthereby allowing researchers to observe changes in employment and earnings before and after receiving the scholarship and to compare MyCAA Scholarship users with nonusers.

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Technical Report



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