Travel Reimbursement Policy

"The university will reimburse the traveler for the reasonable costs of travel incurred on university business. This policy will apply to all colleges and units of the university. The policy will be consistently enforced across the enterprise and applies to travel paid from all university funding sources except the Ames Laboratory."

General Guidelines

A receipt is required for:

  • Single transactions of $75 or more
  • Lodging, airfare, and group meal receipts, regardless of amount
  • Hospitality expenses and purchases on behalf of another, regardless of amount

This policy aligns with receipt requirements for Procurement Cards and Travel & Hospitality Cards.

All receipts should be itemized and include payment information -- for example, credit card payment, or balance showing paid.

  • Hotels: Provide a final folio that shows room rates, taxes, fees, etc., and a $0 balance due that confirms payment
  • Airfare: Provide a full itinerary with payment confirmation.
  • Group meals: Provide a combination of the itemized customer copy and paid copy.


All expense reports related to conferences or events must include a corresponding agenda as an attachment. Attaching the agenda provides context for the incurred expenses and helps verify the relevance of expenses to the event. Please ensure all expense reports pertaining to conferences or events comply with this procedure. Failure to include the agenda may result in delays in processing or reimbursement.

Do not submit expenses receipts that are not required by the ISU policy.

  • Departments cannot mandate unnecessary documentation.
  • Employees should maintain receipts for their own records.
  • Travel reimbursement requirements are available in the Policy Library.

Meals/Per Diem

If meal per diem is claimed, meal receipts should not be added to the expense report. Employees should omit them from the expense report, but maintain the receipts for their own records.

Unless there is specific language in an award, receipts are not required and departments cannot override University policy. Contact a Grant Finance Specialist if you are unsure about the grant provisions.

This is a small percentage of total expense reports. If a specific grant requires receipts and actuals to be claimed, they should be entered as a "miscellaneous travel" expense item, with receipts attached. This only applies to grants that state actual expenses must be claimed.

  • If funding sources require actuals to be claimed and a T&H card is used, alcohol should be charged to an unrestricted fund. Via Workday's "chargebacks," this will not go directly to the UBill, but will reduce the total reimbursement to ensure no alcohol is reimbursed.
  • If a receipt is required and it's a reimbursement, deduct the alcohol from the amount being reimbursed.
  • Receipts are not required for per diem.