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Policies & Reimbursements

This page provides links to Northwestern's travel-related policies and guidelines and the expense reimbursement process for travel expenses that were not directly billed to a department/unit chart string.

General Travel-Related Policies

Expense Reimbursement

To be reimbursed for qualifying travel expenses, the appropriate expense report form(s) need to be completed.

Employee expense reports are filed from the NUFinancials application, which you can reach from the NUPortal. The Employee Expense Reimbursements curriculum on myHR Learn describes how to create an expense report.

Per Diem Guidance

View the Per Diem Guidance page, to learn more about authorized business travel Per Diems for Lodging, Meals and Incidental Expenses.

Hotel Rates References

As stated in Northwestern's Travel, Entertainment & Courtesy policy, Business Travel News publishes annual lists of average negotiated hotel rates:

These lists are provided for reference for Northwestern travelers. Note the rates shown in these lists are averages of corporate negotiated rates collected by BCD Travel. As such, these rates may differ from those available to Northwestern faculty and staff. 


Guidelines and recommendations for reserving accommodations, including conference hotels:

Nonconventional Lodging

When an employee rents a room, apartment, house, or other lodging on a long-term basis (e.g., weekly, monthly), the following expenses may be considered part of the lodging cost.

Lodging cost may include:

Business Travel Accident Insurance

Note that Northwestern offers business travel accident insurance that provides faculty and staff with accidental death & dismemberment benefits while on a business trip for Northwestern University. Visit the Risk Management website for additional information.

Private Automobile Transportation

Travel on University business using privately owned vehicles is reimbursed based on U.S. Federal Government reimbursement rates.


Reimbursement rate includes:

Reimbursement rate excludes:
For travel to points more than 300 miles beyond the point of origin, the following recommendations apply:


International Communications

International telephone calls may be reimbursed with appropriate documentation and substantiation of the business purpose of the call. See Travel Policy Section III H- Documentation of Expenses.

International phone cards are recognized as a cost effective way of paying for international business calls. 
Recommended reimbursement guidelines for international phone cards with value of: