Travel - Reimbursement

Effective: Moved to Policy Library from UPM 8.3(1)
Reviewed and Updated: July 1, 2019
Contact: Controller's Department

Please review THIS PROPOSED REVISION OF THE TRAVEL – REIMBURSEMENT policy [PDF]. Submit your comments and questions to by June 19, 2020.


This policy covers the reimbursement of university travel-related expenses.

Policy Statement

The university will reimburse the traveler for the actual, reasonable cost of travel incurred on university business.


Travelers will be reimbursed for the actual cost of meals, subject to limits based on cost and time in travel status. See the "Summary of Allowable Expenses" noted below in the resources. When the traveler is not in overnight travel status, meals reimbursed are required to be reported as taxable income, unless the primary purpose of the meal was to discuss university business with a client.


Costs of alcohol cannot be reimbursed, except on Agency funds or general support ISU Foundation funds.


There are two mileage reimbursement rates. Travelers can be reimbursed at the higher rate only if the round trip is less than 100 miles, if the traveler is permanently based off-campus, or if the traveler was unable to obtain a vehicle from Transportation Services and, therefore, used a personally owned vehicle. Personal expenses, such as repairs to a personal vehicle used for university travel, will be the sole responsibility of the traveler, even if damage occurred while on university business.

If the traveler elects to drive a personal vehicle for business purposes in lieu of flying, the traveler will be reimbursed for the lower cost of the two alternatives. Mileage will be reimbursed at the lower mileage rate in this situation, even if a vehicle was not available from Transportation Services.


Expenses of a personal nature will be the sole responsibility of the traveler. Examples of personal expenses include, but are not limited to: childcare, pet boarding, in-room movies, and personal grooming.

Flight insurance will not be reimbursed, as coverage already exists for employees on university business when purchased through ISU’s contracted agency.

Combining Personal and Business Travel

When personal and business travel are combined, expenses must be well documented and may not exceed the lowest available cost of travel on the direct or uninterrupted route. If the traveler uses an indirect route or interrupts travel by direct route for personal convenience, any additional expenses incurred will be the sole responsibility of the traveler. Additional costs incurred by spouses or family members will be the sole responsibility of the traveler.

No reimbursement can be made for a traveler staying at the residences of friends or relatives. Similarly, if a traveler stays with friends or relatives and then thanks them with gifts or meals, these expenses will be the sole responsibility of the traveler.