Lodging

The University will reimburse travelers for the cost of their rooms and any applicable taxes and fees when traveling on approved University business. When possible, the University’s preferred hotel properties should be utilized and can be viewed at http://www.campustravel.com/university/columbia/

The cost of a hotel stay in the US should not exceed $350 per night (excluding taxes). International travelers should obtain room rates that do not exceed $400 per night (US dollars, excluding taxes). Lodging costs in excess of $350 per night in the US and $400 per night in an International location (by no more than 50%) requires Supplemental Approval.  All policy exceptions not listed as eligible for Supplemental Approval, or any requests for exception of amounts that exceed the thresholds allowable for Supplemental Approval, still require a formal written exception request approved by a Senior Departmental Officer for documentation and evaluation by Accounts Payable.

If a conference is held in a hotel where the rate exceeds these amounts, please attach the conference flyer identifying the location of the conference and the offered hotel accommodations.

In rare cases (i.e., a peak travel season, special event at a location), a traveler may be required to obtain a room whose costs exceed the guidelines.  In these instances, the traveler must first obtain the approval of their Dean, VP, Associate Dean or Senior Financial Officer and obtain approval of the reimbursement request.  Lodging costs in excess of $350 per night in the US and $400 per night in an International location (by no more than 50%) requires Supplemental Approval.  All policy exceptions not listed as eligible for Supplemental Approval, or any requests for exception of amounts that exceed the thresholds allowable for Supplemental Approval, still require a formal written exception request approved by a Senior Departmental Officer for documentation and evaluation by Accounts Payable. The traveler should document the business reason for exceeding the guideline. The cost of a hotel above this amount can only be charged to a government grant in cases where the grant explicitly allows such expenses.  In all cases, the amount above the threshold must be segregated to the appropriate ARC account. 

Documentation Required

The traveler must submit an original itemized hotel bill that must include:

  • the dates of departure and arrival
  • the detailed charges
  • the total amount of the lodging
  • proof of payment


 

Lodging in a Private Residence

Travelers who stay in a private residence with relatives or friends while traveling on business may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred extending appreciation to hosts for their hospitality. This may include a small gift to the host or payment for meals, and should not exceed $100. However, the traveler must first obtain supplemental approval and obtain approval of the exception request.


Documentation Required

The original itemized receipts and proof of payment for any expenses incurred extending appreciation.


Rental Accommodations

Depending on the length of stay, it may be economical for the traveler to stay in a rental accommodation. However, the traveler must obtain the approval from their respective Travel Approver and from their department's Supplemental Approver for the reimbursement request. 


Documentation Required

The traveler must submit an original itemized rental bill or agreement that must include:

  • the dates of stay
  • the detailed charges
  • the total amount of the lodging
  • proof of payment (zero balance folio)