Redefining the Classroom

Guidelines for Traveler Reimbursement

For the convenience of University travelers, the reimbursement guidelines page includes a summary of provisions for certain travel expenses that you may find useful. Travelers are responsible for abiding by all travel regulations identified in the Lake Superior State University Travel and Expense Policy.

Reimbursement for approved travel and travel-related business expenses will be in accordance with approved rates or receipts. Receipts are required for all travel expenses other than per diem. Smaller receipts should be affixed to letter-size paper for submission.

Note: Receipts for the Mackinac or International Bridges are not required, however, failure to provide receipts will result in reimbursement at the current commuter rate.


Meals and per diem

The University will reimburse travelers for meals consumed during business related travel at the lesser of actual expenses or per diem.  To be reimbursed for any particular meal travel must depart by or return after designated times, as summarized in the table below.

Minimum Per Diem Rates for Fiscal Year 2016

Meal Per Diem Must depart by And return after
Breakfast $11.00 6:00 a.m. 10:00 a.m.
Lunch $12.00 10:00 a.m. 2:00 p.m.
Dinner $23.00 4:00 p.m. 8:00 p.m.

Certain higher-cost cities may have an alternative per diem amount. Per diem amounts are adjusted periodically. Travelers should refer to this web site or contact Business Operations to determine current per diem amounts. 

Whenever meals are served at meetings, conferences, at motels/hotels as part of the lodging cost or on planes, the traveler shall not be entitled to any meal allowance for those particular meals.


The University will reimburse lodging expenses for (a) round-trips of 250 miles or more; (b) overnight stays required as part of an approved University business-related event; or (c) as permitted for faculty teaching at regional centers. Employees are required to obtain the most economical lodging available and the amount of the reimbursement shall not exceed a single room rate. All University employees traveling on University business must request the "government" rate when making hotel reservations and confirm the "government" rate upon check-in. University employees must also present a tax-exempt certificate or tax-exempt P-Card upon check-in when staying in Michigan.

Travelers should obtain a pre-printed, itemized, original receipted bill showing a zero-balance. Express check-out folios may be used as long as the last four digits of the credit card number are displayed.

Vehicle usage

Mileage for personal vehicle usage is currently reimbursed at 75% of the IRS-standard rate of $0.535 per mile ($0.40125), unless a motor pool vehicle is not available or the distance driven is less than 100 miles round trip. Exceptions for employees without access to the motor pool can be obtained through the appropriate Vice-President.

Mileage claims for use of privately owned vehicles must be more economical than the lowest airfare available, except upon showing that the use of an automobile is necessary. If mileage is claimed by a University employee, reimbursement of fuel charges cannot be claimed. When a personal vehicle is used for University business travel, the vehicle owner's insurance is the primary coverage.

If driving 100 miles or more round trip, travelers should obtain vehicles through the University's motor pool rather than driving a personal vehicle, unless there is a clear and necessary business reason that the traveler needs their own vehicle.

Note: Mileage reimbursement requests are limited to a minimum of $10.00 per request (e.g. an employee can accumulate vicinity mileage to reach the minimum, but no vouchers less than $10.00 will be processed).

University motor pool vehicles

Travelers on University business should obtain a vehicle from the University motor pool, rather than using their personal vehicles. Gasoline, oil, and any repairs for motor pool cars must be charged to the motor pool universal credit card that will be provided with the vehicle. Vehicles can be reserved by contacting the motor pool office at extension 2617.

Rental vehicles

Approval for the rental of any vehicle must be provided in advance on the travel form by the account administrator.  Reimbursement will be at the full rental agency rate.  When signing the rental contract, the employee must sign his/her name and Lake Superior State University to ensure LSSU has an insurable interest in the transaction.  Physical damage insurance must be taken when renting the vehicle.  This cost also should be listed on the travel expense voucher.

Air travel

Commercial airline travel may be reimbursed at actual cost including taxes and fees for the most economical class available. Additional expense for first-class travel will not be reimbursed, including the purchase of higher classes of coach fare for the traveler to be able to upgrade to first class based on their frequent flyer status.

The University pays for the lowest priced ticket available for the dates of travel, and will not be responsible for any charges made by airlines for late flight cancellations or failure to use the reservation.  These charges are the responsibility of the employee.

Miscellaneous expenses

An employee may incur additional expenses while traveling on behalf of the University. Travel expenses actually incurred will be reimbursed, but must be considered reasonable and necessary. The following chart summarizes several miscellaneous expenses often encountered by travelers.

Expense Reimbursable Notes
Baggage handling Yes  
Checked baggage fee Yes First bag only
Gratuities for meals No Included in per diem
Gratuities other than meals Yes  
Insurance No  
Laundry No  
Parking fees Yes  
Registration fees Yes  
Taxis to restaurants No  
Toll charges Yes  

For expenses not outlined above, please refer to the Lake Superior State University Travel and Expense Policy or consult with the Business Office.