The most economical means of transportation should be used when traveling on University business. The departure point for determining actual mileage will be the lesser of the mileage from the University or from the traveler’s home. University employees are expected, when possible, to share a vehicle when traveling to common events. Travel allowance will not be granted within the confines of Vigo county. Only one round trip mileage to and from the Indianapolis airport is allowed for reimbursement, the exception being if picking up a candidate or an honoraria person. Airport parking will be reimbursed up to the equivalency of the long term parking rate at associated airport. See the following websites for airport parking options:

Indianapolis Airport

World Airport Guides

FastPark Parking

Travel Packages

In order to save money, some travelers may consider booking a package (airfare, hotel, car rental) on a discount website such as Expedia, Orbitz or Priceline. The IRS requires that the expense of each travel component (airfare/hotel/car/etc.) be listed out separately on an itemized statement from the vendor. Without proper substantiation, expense reimbursements will be treated as taxable income.

If you choose to purchase a travel package and cannot obtain an itemized breakdown of each cost, then you will have to file your travel reimbursement through Payroll on a One Time Only form.


University owned vehicles have been replaced by Enterprise Car Rental. [NOTE: You must use your Sycamore ID and password to access this site.] You must provide your Travel Authorization number in order to reserve a vehicle.


Travel in private vehicles is reimbursed as mileage. The amount paid for mileage is intended to compensate the traveler for wear and tear and gas.

Roundtrip mileage to common destinations has been computed using the shortest route usually traveled (see Round –Trip Mileage Information Guide). Only one round trip mileage to and from the Indianapolis airport is allowed for reimbursement, the exception being if picking up a candidate or an honoraria person. If a city is not listed, go to to calculate your mileage. A 10% variance beyond these figures will be allowed.

Use of a private vehicle on University business will be reimbursed based on the current Federal mileage rate (these rates will be updated each time the Federal rates change):


The cost of renting an automobile while on University business may be reimbursed when suitable local transportation is not available, or when such rental is considered more advantageous to the University than the use of taxies or other local transportation due to routing or time factors. When reserving your car you should request the least expensive practical vehicle. Please remember to refuel your rental car prior to its return and save the gas receipts for reimbursement. Refueling rates charged by the rental agency are extremely expensive. Do not take additional insurance (see ISU car insurance policy). The University has direct billing contracts with National Car Rental and Enterprise. [NOTE: You must use your Sycamore ID and password to access the Enterprise site.]

In order to rent a vehicle, all drivers must be 25 years old and take the Defensive Driving Course. In order to rent a 12 passenger van, the driver must take the driving test. Contact Sherry O’Neal in Risk Management at ext. 7946, or go to the website for more information:  

*You must have a valid Travel Authorization number in order to direct bill a rental vehicle.


The mileage reimbursement cannot exceed the cost of comparable 30-days advance purchase airfare rates. Persons who choose to drive rather than fly long distances are allowed to claim two driving days for subsistence and lodging (one day before and one day after).


All airline travel using University funds may now be purchased through the University's preferred travel agency or online provider. Tickets will be direct billed to the University. The preferred travel agency has a professional staff that is familiar with the University's guidelines on travel procedures. They are trained to find the lowest fare possible that meets the traveler's needs. You can book your travel through other methods and make payment via a personal credit card if you get prior approval from the Travel Account Specialist x3541. If you find a lower priced airfare outside the preferred travel providers you must obtain a quote from a preferred provider to show that the airfare you received from an outside agency is the lowest. A copy of the quotes must be sent to the Travel Account Specialist before the flight is booked for approval. Please be aware if you book your airfare with an agency other than the preferred travel providers without prior approval you risk the chance of not being reimbursed for the ticket. All approved airfare not purchased through the preferred travel providers will not be reimbursed until after the travel has been completed.

If your travel plans change before you start your trip, contact the preferred travel provider to change your ticket. There is a flight change fee. If your plans change while you are traveling, contact the preferred travel provider to make your changes. When you return, clearly explain your change of plans on your Travel Reimbursement Request so your reimbursement will not be delayed.

If you have an unused airline ticket, depending on the restrictions, you should contact the preferred travel provider immediately for credit to the University. Your departmental account will automatically be credited. Keep in mind that most tickets are non-refundable and no credits are issued.

First class travel is not allowed.

Airfare upgrades and additional fees—Airlines may offer you a number of options to make your flight more comfortable.  These upgrades may include but are not limited to:

*premium seating—more leg room, closer to the front of the plane

*early check-in

*seat changes

These are just a few examples of what our office is seeing come across in travel requests.  This type of cost can only be interpreted as an upgrade and beyond what is considered the standard airfare and baggage costs that the university would consider reimbursable.  If you elect to purchase one of these options, it will be at your own expense and would not be a reimbursable expense.  The only exception to this would be if the traveler can substantiate it as the only option offered or it is required by the airline for that flight.


There are other ways to travel besides commercial airlines and cars available, which are reimbursable to you. Unless noted otherwise, the Travel Authorization and Travel Reimbursement Request process is the same.

Train tickets are reimbursed up to the lowest airfare cost available for your destination. Save your receipts. Show estimated cost on the Miscellaneous line of Travel Authorization Form.

Bus tickets are reimbursed at the actual cost of the ticket. Save your receipts. Show estimated cost on the Miscellaneous line of Travel Authorization Form.

Motorcycle mileage is reimbursed using the same rates as personal car. See Round-Trip Mileage Information Guide.

Trailers, motor homes, or campers mileage is reimbursed using the same rates as personal car, plus the actual cost of space rental. See Round-Trip Mileage Information Guide. Save your receipts. (Trailer rentals or leases are not reimbursable.) Show estimated cost on the Miscellaneous line of Travel Authorization Form.

Employee piloted aircraft (either rented or privately owned) is not authorized or reimbursable travel.

Charter aircraft are contracted through the preferred travel provider and should be listed as Miscellaneous on the Travel Authorization Form.