Many schools across the U.S. charge mandatory fees for student registration, books, etc. In many cases the host family or local AFS team covers costs for students. If you encounter a situation where the fees are too high for the host family to pay or the local team to cover through fundraised dollars, please note that AFS can pay or reimburse host families for some required fees as outlined below. Students and their families back home can also be expected to cover costs related to yearbooks, uniforms, electives, and extracurriculars. Requests for payment directly to the school or reimbursement to the host family for mandatory school fees should be sent to your School Partnerships staff contact.
Process for YES and FLEX Students
For YES and FLEX students, the host family incidental funds can be used to reimburse YES and FLEX host families for mandatory school fees.
For YES and FLEX students, the Host Family Incidentals Allowance is $300 per hosted student. When the Sponsored Programs staff receives expenses over $300, they try to reimburse all the expenses if they are required school fees (such as school registration fees, class fees, school uniform, etc). If a family submits $300 in school fees and $100 in clothing fees for a total of $400, then we only cover the $300 in school fees. Having said that, Sponsored Programs tracks requests for over $300 throughout the year, and, if funds remain, they often go back to host families and ask them to resubmit additional expenses.
Host families of YES or FLEX students should follow the instructions they’ve received regarding the Host Family Incidental Allowance, which can be found here (password is yes).
Process for all other students, including CBYX students
Per the Participation Agreement, AFS-USA can pay fees associated with the following:
- School Admission (registration, enrollment, book, and locker fees)
- Required schoolbooks (if participants want to keep the books, they can be asked to pay for them)
AFS-USA will only cover fees that are mandatory for the student to attend school and class. Purchase of consumable materials (supplies, electronics such as iPad or laptops) are not covered. Fees for graduation, yearbooks, uniforms (including gym class uniforms), extracurricular activities, or school lunches are also not covered. Please note that school uniforms may be covered for YES and FLEX students, as outlined above. If you are not sure if a particular fee meets the criteria, please feel free to contact School Partnerships staff directly to confirm.
Families can request fees be paid directly to the school, or they can seek reimbursement if having paid themselves. Invoices or reimbursement requests should be submitted as soon as possible to the School Partnerships staff, and no later than March 1 for expenses incurred during that school year. Checks are issued once a week.