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Foundational Learning Program

(formerly Skills Investment Program)

Important notices for funding applicants

Notice for all applicants for Foundational Learning funding

Foundational Learning funding is provided on a first come, first served basis to qualified applicants. There are a limited number of funded seats available so it is highly recommended that you apply for funding at least 6-10 weeks prior to the start of your program to allow proper time for assessment and funding approval and to ensure tuition and living allowance benefits are received on time. If you apply after the program begins, you risk lack of funding availability. In addition, living allowance benefits will not be backdated to the start of the program. They will begin from the approval date forward.

Notice for ESL applicants

Students requesting English as a Second Language (ESL) funding for the English Language Foundations (ELF) program should exhaust all LINC eligibility prior to applying for the Foundational Learning program at SAIT. The LINC program should bring a student to Benchmark 5 for Reading/Writing and Listening/Speaking. This doesn't apply to individuals who have become Canadian citizens. 

Notice for Employment Insurance (EI) applicants/recipients

If you are receiving or have recently applied for Employment Insurance (EI) Benefits, you are required to apply for Foundational Learning Funding.

Eligible programs

Full-Time Funding - Foundational Learning Program

Please carefully review and complete each of the following steps to determine your eligibility and to complete the application process:

STEP 1 - Review the basic eligibility criteria

To be eligible for Foundational Learning funding, the following criteria must be met:

  • You must be an Alberta resident at the time of application. 

  • You must be a Canadian Citizen, Permanent Resident or Convention Refugee with valid study permit, work permit AND Notice of Decision. Study and work permits must have end dates that cover your entire training period. International students and visitors don't qualify. 

  • You must be 18 years of age or older at the start of your program.

  • You have been out of high school for 12 or more consecutive months.

  • If you are currently employed, please disclose this information as it may affect your funding eligibility.

  • Applicants employed 20 hours or more are not eligible. Referrals/applications will be cancelled and the applicant will be referred to Community and Social Services for Career Counselling to review options. 

  • You must be ready, willing and able to attend training.

  • You are in financial need

  • Sponsored immigrants enrolled in full-time studies are only eligible for tuition, books and supplies. 

STEP 2 - Complete the application form

If you meet the above criteria please complete and submit the Assessment Form

The online assessment is required to help both you and your Funding Advisor to determine your initial funding eligibility or possible issues that must be resolved prior to completion of the Alberta Works funding application. Note: The assessment form is NOT the Alberta Works funding application. You may be asked to complete the Alberta Works funding application after your assessment has been reviewed by the advisor. 

STEP 3 - Submit the application form

Save a copy of the completed Assessment Form and e-mail it as an attachment to funding@sait.ca. If you have questions or problems completing the assessment form, please e-mail funding@sait.ca

STEP 4 - Your application is processed

You will be contacted by a Funding Advisor about your assessment within 5 business days. You will be contacted by e-mail so please ensure you have a reliable e-mail account. Check your junk mail folder if you haven't heard from an advisor. 

If you haven't received feedback within 5-10 business days, please e-mail funding@sait.ca to determine your application status. 

Once your Alberta Works Learner Income Support application has been submitted to the Alberta Works office (Edmonton) it can take 4-6 weeks processing time.

Part-Time Funding - Skills Investment Bursary

Skills Investment Bursary (SIB) part-time funding is only available for students enrolling in English Language Foundations and Academic Upgrading on a part-time basis.

The maximum cumulative amount issued for SIB part-time is $5,000 per calendar year, Jan. 1 to Dec. 31. SIB part-time does not cover living costs associated with attending training.

The following training benefits are provided up to the maximum amount for incremental costs necessary to participate in part-time training:

  • Tuition, mandatory fees and student association fees,
  • Books and supplies,
  • Installation and monthly fees for a basic internet package, the learner does not currently have internet access and if access is required for successful participation in this training or if the course is online,
  • Transportation costs if there is an assessed need to attend this training,
  • Child care costs if there is an assessed need to attend this training.

All funding applications must be received by the Alberta Works Learner Income and Support Office (LISO) from the SAIT Funding Advising office prior to the course end date. Otherwise funding applications will not be processed. It can take several weeks for the LISO offices to review applications and approve funding. Please ensure you follow the steps below and submit all relevant information at the time of application for part-time funding.

Funding Advising cannot release funds for part-time funding until after the second class has been attended regardless of the release date on your Learner Income Support - Alberta Works letter. Refunds must be approved through the Funding Advising office in the Lamb Learner Success Centre, room MC221, Stan Grad Centre.

Basic eligibility criteria for all part-time course funding

  • Must be 18 years of age or older 
  • Must be out of Elementary, Junior or Senior High School for 12 consecutive months 
  • Must be a resident of Alberta at the time of application 
  • Must be a Canadian Citizen, permanent resident or convention refugee with valid study and work permit AND Notice of Decision. Study and work permits must have end dates that cover the entire training period. International students and visitors don't qualify. 
  • Must be below the applicable income threshold according to line 236 of your most recent Income Tax Return (see below)
Household Unit Size123456
Net income 35,000 40,000 45,000 50,000 55,000 60,000

* For each additional child add $5,000

  • Must meet the following asset requirements:
    • RRSP's owned by the learner and/or spouse/partner must not exceed $100,000
    • Liquid Assets (savings, term deposits, GICs, Bonds, stocks, cash on hand, etc.) must not exceed $5,000 (family combined assets)
  • Complete and pass all of the training providers' rules, including acceptable attendance and progress. 
  • Income Support recipients must notify their Income Support worker when applying for part-time training. 
  • EI recipients must consult with Service Canada about collecting EI benefits while attending training. 
  • Full-time Foundational Learning funded students can access part-time funding to repeat courses they failed as a full-time funded student, provided they are now attending SAIT on a part-time basis (see Funding Advising in room MC221, Stan Grad Centre, for details). 

Skills Investment Bursary eligibility and application

Please carefully review and complete each of the steps below as part of the part-time funding application process.

STEP 1 - Review eligibility criteria

Review the basic eligibility criteria for all part-time course funding. In addition, you must also meet the following criteria specific to the Skills Investment Part-time Bursary:

  • Must have already registered and paid for your course(s) to apply for part-time funding
  • Must be assessed as in need of training 
  • Can be employed or unemployed 
  • Must provide the Canadian Language Benchmark Assessment (CLBA) report if applying for ESL training
  • Must provide the program plan if applying for SAIT Academic Upgrading

STEP 2 - Complete the application form

If you have registered for your course(s) and feel you meet the basic eligibility criteria, please complete and submit the Assessment Form (link opens *.xls file; opens new browser window). 

This will help both you and your funding advisor to determine your funding eligibility or identify possible issues that must be addressed prior to funding. Please ensure you include previous employment and education information, your SAIT ID number and a reasonable career goal or the form will be returned to you.

STEP 3 - Submit the application form

Save a copy of the completed Assessment Form and email it to funding@sait.ca (a printed paper version is NOT acceptable). 

Note: If you have questions or problems completing the assessment please email funding@sait.ca and include the assessment form with your questions/concerns.

STEP 4 - Your application is processed

You will be contacted by the funding advisor about your assessment within five business days. You will be contacted by e-mail so please ensure you have a reliable e-mail account and check your junk mail folder. If you have not received feedback within 5-10 business days please email the Funding Advising office at funding@sait.ca. The funding advisor will advise of any potential concerns related to your eligibility and ask you to provide documents as indicated below:

Relevant documentation as proof of costs (i.e. bills) is also mandatory if you plan to indicate additional costs for:

  • Childcare requirements and costs while attending part-time course(s)
  • Internet access requirements and monthly amounts to attend part-time course(s)
  • Monthly transportation costs to attend course(s)

Please submit all required items at the same time to the Funding Advising office either via email or in person. Receiving one or two items at a time may result in lost material.

Once your completed information has been reviewed and the necessary sections have been completed by the funding advisors at SAIT, it will be forwarded to the Learner Income Support Centre for financial determination. This can take  8-10 weeks. You will be notified by mail from the Learner Income Support office as to your financial award.

Additional Funding Options