CSIET actively supports Congressional legislation that proposes increases in Federal funding of exchange programs; calls for sensible visa policies; and provides financial support for American host families. 

Increase the Family Deduction for Hosting Exchange Students

CSIET supports recent Congressional legislation to increase the monthly tax deduction from $50 to $200 for families hosting foreign exchange students. The new deduction would be indexed to the annual cost-of-living adjustment.

We urge members to support this legislation because:

  • At a time when youth in strategic parts of the world such as the Middle East are confronted with dangerous cultural misunderstandings about the United States, youth exchange programs are uniquely suited to allow young people to experience an America unfiltered by Hollywood. Exchange participants frequently take home an understanding, and often an appreciation, for America's people, society, and values.
  • The current flat $50 monthly deduction was established in the 1960s and has never been modified to reflect the significantly higher expenses required of host families to maintain an exchange student.
  • It currently costs families anywhere from $7,050 to $13,800 per year to raise a 15-17 year old child.
  • An increase to $200 per month will ease the financial burden on current host families, and encourage others, most of whom are middle-income families, to host an exchange student in the future.

While this modest increase will not fully offset the cost of hosting, it will send a clear message to American families that our nation values their contribution to increasing cultural understanding.