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Look at the finished Pre-Authorization Travel Form. If the faculty member chose “Student” as the Primary Beneficiary, follow the instructions below.

The Basics

  • This travel is considered financial aid and will be processed via GradStar. All money will go through your student account.
  • You are responsible for deciding if you need an increase in your Cost of Attendance. Please consult https://studentaid.unc.edu/graduate/what-aid-is-available/department-funding/ or email OSSA at aidinfo@unc.edu
  • The department will issue payment to your student account and you will be responsible for all expenses, including airfare and registration.
  • Any money you receive before the trip must be accounted for after the trip.
  • You can receive money before the trip for actual and/or estimated expenses. See “Before the Trip” below.
  • Make sure to get receipts for everything (except meals). Credit card statements will be rejected!
  • You can only be paid back for your own travel expenses, meaning your plane ticket, your hotel room, etc. If you pay for someone else’s hotel room/flight/etc., you will not be paid back, although it’s possible they could be.

Things to Know

  • Don’t assume you’ll be paid back for a non-standard expense; please ask your contact. Example: coach airfare will be repaid, but not flight insurance.
  • Please read the Procedure on Per Diem Rates for information about meal reimbursements.¬†See Understanding Per Diem if you need more details.
  • There are limits on what you can claim for lodging. Please see Procedure on Lodging Accommodations for details.
  • If you plan to drive, please read the Procedure on Ground Travel for information about mileage rates.
  • NOTICE RE: AIRBNB – If you plan to use Airbnb or any other non-hotel lodging, you must fill out the Third-Party Lodging Request Form, follow the instructions, and include both the form and the approval from travel in your Travel Prompter request.
  • Sharing a room? You can only be reimbursed for your half of the cost. The other person in the room must claim the other half of the cost on their travel expenses.
    • If the hotel will allow it, please try to split the payment at the hotel.
    • If the hotel only allows one person to pay, the other person will have to provide evidence (for example, a Venmo receipt) showing that they paid the person who paid the bill.
      • Example: Jadwiga and Nandi share a room and paid $1000. Jadwiga paid for the entire room. She can only claim $500. Nandi will have to pay Jadwiga, get a receipt, and claim the other $500.

Before the Trip

Money in Advance

If you want money before the trip, please submit your request through the Travel Prompter (pre-trip).

  • This money can be used before or during the trip.
  • If you have already paid some expenses (such as registration), you can still request money for them before the trip.
  • If you have not paid any expenses, you can still request money for them before the trip.
  • You do not have to provide exact amounts, just estimates.
  • You do not have to provide receipts, but you can if you have them.
  • You will need to provide receipts after the trip.

International Travel

Follow the extra steps required for international travel. You must provide the international travel approval with the rest of your documentation.

For travel insurance, fill out form 1409.1.1f (up through the “Insured Status” column) and send it to Risk Management at risk@unc.edu. Include your name and the start date of your trip in the subject line. You will have to pay directly.

After the Trip

You have 30 days from the end of your trip to request reimbursement.

See below to learn which expenses you can claim.

If you received money before the trip, you must provide documentation for all the money you received.

  • If you spent more than you received, you will be paid the difference.
  • If you spent less than you received, the cashier will bill you and you will have to repay them to avoid having a hold placed on your student account.

All receipts should have your name and show that the bill has been paid. A credit card or bank statement by itself is not sufficient documentation for anything other than exchange rates.

Provide

Post-trip travel prompter (International Travelers should use this Travel spreadsheet instead. Make sure to check all the tabs!)
Backup documentation (See below)

Documentation breakdown

Airfare: Provide the receipt showing how much you paid. The flight must be in your name.

Ground transportation: If you drove your personal car, provide the origin, destination, and mileage of each leg of the trip. For rental cars, provide the rental receipts, any gas receipts you paid for, and a justification for renting a car rather than using public transportation or taxis. For taxis or rideshares, list the origin and destination of each trip and include receipts if you can.¬†Write the tip on the receipt if it’s not already included.

Hotel: A booking or reservation is not a valid receipt. The hotel receipt should have your name as the occupant and list out the charges. If you used an AirBNB and have not already given the travel preparer the Third-Party Lodging Request Form, you will need to. Shared a room? Please see the information above under “Things to Know.”

Meals/Per diem: Meals are reimbursed at a fixed rate called per diem. List your location on each date and which meals out of breakfast, lunch, and dinner you are claiming on that date. Do not claim any meals that were provided by the hotel, the conference, or a host organization. No receipts are necessary unless the sponsor itself requires them. For a more in-depth explanation, see Understanding Per Diem.

Medical: If you are traveling internationally, you may be reimbursed for necessary vaccinations and prescriptions (such as antimalarial drugs). Provide receipts.

Other: Baggage fees, internet access, laundry (only for long international trips), parking, phone calls, phone cards (international only), poster printing, and other miscellaneous expenses must be accompanied by receipts. Tips to airport employees are reimbursable at $2 a bag; no receipts are required.

Passport/visa fees: Provide receipts as best you can. This may include photo fees, mailing/shipping fees, etc. Multiple-entry visas will be reimbursed via a different mechanism and can be reimbursed before the trip.

Registration/Abstract submission: Most conferences send email confirmations when you pay. You can print those to PDF to submit as receipts.

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