Overview

Adult learners may qualify for funding to help pay for basic education, upgrading or English as a Second Language (ESL). These learning options help you get an education comparable to a high school graduate.

  • Learner Income Support is for full-time students
  • Skills Investment Bursary is for part-time students

You may also qualify for federal funding under Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC). LINC is a Government of Canada program that offers permanent residents and protected people tuition-free basic language classes to reach the citizen language requirement.

If you're interested in ESL, the best way to maximize the amount of funding you qualify for is to apply for LINC first.

Eligibility

Before you apply, make sure you're eligible for funding.

Employment status

To get full-time funding, you must be either:

  • unemployed, or
  • working an average of fewer than 20 hours per week over the last 12 weeks

When you are unemployed

If you are:

  • eligible for Employment Insurance (EI), you must apply for EI before starting full-time training
  • already getting EI benefits and were assessed with a training need, your benefits continue until your claim ends

Learn more about Employment Insurance.

When you are employed

If you are employed and want to leave your job to attend full-time training, discuss your options with a Career and Employment Consultant at an Alberta Supports Office.

Learn more about employment status.

Length of training

Before you consider a training program, be aware of the maximum number of months you can be funded to attend full-time training, and any exceptions that may apply to you.

Learn more about how the length of training affects funding.

Approved programs

To be eligible for funding, you must be enrolled in an approved program.

Approved programs include:

Program Purpose
English as a Second Language (ESL) Training for those whose first language is other than English.
Basic skills Training in:
  • literacy and numeracy (grades 1 to 6)
  • adult basic education (grades 7 to 9)
Academic upgrading Learning at a grade 10 to 12 educational level, to help you:
  • pursue post-secondary study
  • get a job
Integrated Foundational Pathways (IFP) Supportive and interactive learning that blends:
  • essential skills
  • academics
  • applied skills development
Occupational training Greater than 2 weeks but less than 12 weeks of training helps you:
  • build work-related skills
  • improve your job prospects
Transitional Vocational Program If you have a mild developmental disability, this program provides training that:
  • increases your chances of getting a job
  • helps you be more independent
Integrated training This training combines academic and general employability skills with occupation-related skills.

How to apply

Step 1. Get accepted into an approved program

You must be accepted into an approved program (listed above) before you apply for funding.

Step 2. Ask your training provider to complete a Training Provider Information form

Your training provider must complete a Training Provider Information form (PDF, 397 KB) and you must submit it with your application. The form will indicate if you are considered a full-time or part-time student. Your status determines what type of funding you may apply for.

  • Learner Income Support is for full-time students
  • Skills Investment Bursary is for part-time students

Trouble opening or completing PDF forms?

Fillable forms do not open properly on some mobile devices and web browsers. To fill in and save this form:

  1. Click on the PDF link to save it on your computer.
  2. Launch Adobe Reader.
  3. Open the PDF from within Adobe Reader. You can now fill and save your form.

Step 3. Read application instructions

Read the instrucations below so that you are prepared to fill out the application form:

Step 4. Apply online or in writing

Submit your application at least 2 months before your training starts. It can take up to 8 weeks to process your application.

You must answer all questions and include all required documents for government to process your application.

If you need help to complete the application form, contact Alberta Supports.

How to apply online

You must have a verified MyAlberta Digital ID to apply online. If you have a spouse/partner, and/or 18-19 year old dependents, they also need a verified MyAlberta Digital ID.

If you don't have one, sign up for a MyAlberta Digital ID first.

To apply online:

  1. Go to myAlbertaSupports.
  2. Click the "Apply online" button to start your application. You'll be redirected to the MyAlberta Digital ID log in screen.
  3. Log in using your My Alberta Digital ID. If you do not have one, you must create one to access the online application. It can take up to 10 days for the government to verify your account, before you can move to the next step.
  4. Choose the application you'd like to complete.
  5. Fill out and submit the application.
  6. Upload supporting documents. After submitting your applicaton, you'll receive a Next Steps PDF document with instructions on how to upload these documents.

How to apply in writing

  1. Fill out the correct form for your situation. You may either fill it out on your computer then print it, or print it and use an pen to fill it out by hand.
  1. Ask your training provider to fill out the Training Provider Information form (PDF, 397 KB) to confirm your enrolment.
  2. Attach all supporting documents to your application form
  3. Mail your application and all supporting documents to:

Learner Income Support Office
Box 17000, Station Main
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 4R4

After you apply

The Learner Income Support Office will mail you a letter in 6 to 8 weeks that explains the status of your application. Applications with missing or incorrect information may be returned to you.

A letter will tell you:

  • the amount of money you may get, or the reasons you will not get funding
  • your right to appeal
  • where and when you can expect to receive funding

If costs for training were included in your assessment:

  • books and supply costs will be included in your first payment for each training period
  • tuition and fees will be paid directly to your training provider on your behalf

If you have questions after submitting your application, contact the Learner Income Support Office.

Tax slip

Government will also send you a tax slip that reports all training benefits and/or income support you got that year. You will get the tax slip early in the calendar year, so you can include it in your tax filing for the previous year.

Find out more about tax information for training programs (PDF, 40 KB).