Student Travel: Reimbursement vs Scholarship
Audience: Department Administrator or Faculty
Student travel payments can be of two types: a travel scholarship or a travel reimbursement.
- Students traveling to a conference as a means of advancing their personal knowledge are deemed to receive a travel scholarship (5207) and should be paid as such via the Check Voucher system. In this case, no reimbursement is given after an expense is incurred; the travel scholarship is payable at any time.
- To treat student expenses as a reimbursable business expense, the student must incur the cost while on university business. Students who are “active participants” (i.e., traveling to conferences to represent Tufts or present a paper) are considered to be traveling on behalf of the university and can be reimbursed. Similarly, individuals/groups that are traveling as part of a formal student organization or club are considered to be on university business. The information below is useful when arranging/reimbursing travel for students.
It is often helpful that departments obtain a Travel Authorization Number (T-Number) from TSS for students, and arrange travel through one of the Tufts Preferred Agencies. Doing so minimizes the out-of-pocket expenses of the student and provides the university with additional financial oversight. When booking the airfare or pre-paid hotels, give the agent at the travel agency the appropriate cost center (DeptID or Grant) and instruct them to charge the Tufts Ghost Card, which is a method of direct billing to that cost center.
In commitment to your safety and well-being abroad, you are required to register all university-related international travel with the Tufts Travel Registry. If you are traveling on a university-funded or sponsored trip to a country or a region with a U.S. State Department travel advisory, you must submit a Travel Review application and receive University approval in advance.
Students can use per diems (See Per Diem Rates). Supporting documentation from a federal site indicating the rate is required.
All student travel must adhere to established university policies and procedures. If the student has out of pocket travel expenses, reimbursement can be made by using Electronic Check Voucher. Individuals who need help reconciling their out of pocket expenses should Contact TSS. Prior to being reimbursed, the student may need to complete a PaymentWorks onboarding form, which TSS will send. Departments may wish to give students advanced notice of the PaymentWorks requirement in order to be reimbursed.