Domestic Travel

Travel– Any activity in which students leave the University to attend or participate in an experience not provided by Penn State students or faculty.  All travel must accomplish an organizational function and/or improve a service offered to all students by bringing materials and information back to University Park.

UPAC will consider funding travel that may be considered educational, competitive, performance, or service experiences.

  • An educational experience is one in which the primary purpose is for students to gain knowledge or insight that will enhance the out-of-class experience such as a conference, field trip, or other cultural experience.
  • A competitive experience is one in which the primary purpose is for students to apply knowledge or skills in a competitive manner in pursuit of recognition.
  • A performance experience is one in which the primary purpose is for students to demonstrate skills or abilities for an audience in an informative or entertaining manner.
  • A service experience is one in which the primary purpose is for students to volunteer assistance where the primary beneficiary is a community in need. UPAC will not fund trips in which the student organization will be providing a service to its parent organization.

Policies regarding travel funding can be found in Section 3.3 of the UPAC Requestor Handbook. Here are the steps to request funding for travel within the United States:

1. Sign out a U.S. Travel Funding Request Form

Drop by the UPAC office in 208 HUB to pick up a U.S. travel funding request form. You’ll need to make sure that you’re not past your requesting deadline date, and you’ll spend a few minutes going over the process of filling out the request form with a UPAC member in the office.

2. Fill out your U.S. Travel Funding Request Form

UPAC will consider funding U.S. travel expenses including transportation, lodging, and registration. On your U.S. travel funding request form, you’ll find lines to list airplane tickets, charter buses or tickets, rental vehicles, personal mileage, fleet vehicles, fleet mileage, lodging, and registration. You’ll also find a space to list the total number of students traveling.

On your request form, neatly list the relevant information and price for every item you plan on requesting from UPAC. You should only list items on your form that you are requesting from UPAC. Once you’ve listed and totaled all of the expenses you’re requesting, use the lines to the right to prioritize each item in order of your most important expenses. Also, at the top of the back of the request form, you’ll find four questions regarding your travel experience that you’ll need to answer and attach to your completed budget.

Along with your completed request form, make sure to attach the following information:

  • Answers to the four U.S. travel request form questions,
  • quotes for all transportation expenses,
  • a quote for lodging if you’re requesting less than the $50 per student per night UPAC lodging cap,
  • a quote for registration expenses,
  • and a tentative travel roster.

3. Submit your U.S. Travel Funding Request Form

Once you’ve completed filling out your U.S. travel funding request form, bring it back to the UPAC office to review it with a UPAC representative and ensure that your budget is complete. After verifying that your request is still within your deadline date and that your request is complete, the UPAC representative will accept and process your budget, and the Committee will review your request on a first come-first serve basis.

4. Receive your Allocation Decision

It typically takes about three-to-four weeks for a budget to be processed and brought up for review. After that time, you’ll receive an email from upac@psu.edu with an RSVP request to one of our Tuesday or Thursday night allocation meetings. At your meeting, you’ll discuss your travel experience and budget with a Sub-Committee of about five-to-seven members with a Sub-Committee Chair leading the meeting and one adviser guiding the group. After your meeting, you should hear back with an email from upac@psu.edu containing your allocation letter with the Committee’s allocation decision. 

5. Attend your Travel Experience and Seek Reimbursement

At least three days before departing for your travel experience, you need to complete and submit a Travel Registration Form to Galen Chelko in room 201 HUB. If room 201 is closed, you may drop your Travel Registration Form off in the UPAC office in 208 HUB.

After attending your travel experience, return all of boarding passes to the UPAC office. Once UPAC has verified that you’ve submitted your boarding passes and Travel Registration Form, a copy of your allocation letter will be sent to the Associated Student Activities (ASA) office in 240 HUB within two-to-three business days, when allocated funds will be placed into your restricted “10” account. From there, you can seek reimbursement for your travel experience’s expenses from the ASA office. Any other instructions or stipulations will be listed on your UPAC allocation letter.