Student Travel

Student Travel Policies, Registration, and Funding Requests

STudent Travel at Macalester

Macalester College recognizes travel to off-campus events and activities is a beneficial part of the collegiate experience. Travel increases the ability of students to connect within a global community, exposes them to other cultures, and allows them to engage in dialogue with people from different backgrounds and perspectives.  We also seek to provide the safest opportunities and methods of transportation to mitigate any risks that may be associated with travel.

To that end, all College related student travel must be reported to make students aware of  the risks and responsibilities, to capture emergency contact information, and to assure the travel is safe and well planned in accordance with College policies. The travel policies listed below, including those outlined in the Macalester College Student Handbook, are considered the minimum requirements for student travel. 


Student travel is considered college-related travel if ANY of the following apply:

  • Travel is over 50 miles from campus
  • Travel is overnight
  • College or student government funds are being used to support travel
  • Travel is to participate in an event on behalf of or using the name of the college

 All students who wish to travel for college related activities must complete the travel registration process.  The registration forms include: 

  • Basic Information
  • Emergency Contact
  • Itinerary Details
  • Sponsor Information
  • Statement of Student Responsibility and Assumption of Risk

Certain types of travel (i.e. field trips, study away, athletics, etc.)  have different or additional requirements.  In those cases, contact the sponsoring department  for further instructions. All travel registration information must be submitted by all participants at least three (3) business days prior to trip departure.  If a participant fails to submit the travel registration forms by the deadline they will not be permitted to go on the trip.  

If you have questions or need assistance in filling out the forms, contact Laurie Adamson at


Submitting a Travel Request

Please  submit travel requests no later than 3 weeks before the departure date. A single request should be made for each trip and include information about each student traveling, rather than separate applications for each student. The Travel Committee reviews applications via email on a weekly basis. Requests submitted before 9am on Monday morning will be considered that week and a decision is usually made by the end of that week.


All funding for College travel must come from the Travel Committee. Although many academic departments and campus offices would like to support student travel, their budgets are not designed for this purpose. This is why a central funding source for College student travel has been established. The Travel Fund is comprised of both College funds as well as MCSG funds to support different kinds of travel. The Travel Committee is chaired by the Director of Campus Activities and Operations and its membership includes the Director of Academic Programs, the MCSG Financial Affairs Chair, two additional staff members and two students appointed by the MCSG Financial Affairs Chair.

The Travel Committee considers each individual funding request based on its individual merits and connection to the mission of the College.

Student Organization Travel

All student organization related travel must be approved by the Travel Committee.  To get approval, trip coordinators must complete the travel request form.  Student organizations are also allowed to request funding to support travel related to their chartered organizational purpose. To request funding, complete the Anticipated Expenses and Funding Request sections of the Travel Request Form.  Travel funding is meant to be primarily for transportation costs.  If there are other costs associated with your trip (i.e. registration, lodging, etc.), organizations should apply for funding through their yearly budgets or additional allocations.  Student organizations are encouraged to submit travel requests at least three weeks in advance so that there is time for funding decisions to be made. 

Funding limitations for student organization travel are as follows:

  • Organizations are limited to one funded trip per year, unless trips are part of the purpose of the student organization (e.g. Outing Club or Habitat for Humanity);
  • The maximum amount granted for student organization travel is $50 per participant.  
  • Participants must cover the cost of personal expenses (i.e. food, entertainment, etc.).

Ethical Overnight Accommodations
Macalester student organizations are committed to a high standard of ethics and social responsibility, both in our community in Minnesota and globally. Please consider checking your overnight accommodations against the list of hotels considered unethical when preparing travel plans, here. For information, please contact Macalester’s Minnesota Public Interest Research Group at

Student Presenting At an Academic Conference

Individual students who are presenting academic work at an academic conference may apply for travel funds. It is recommended that students submit this form themselves, rather than faculty or department coordinators. If more than one student is attending an academic conference, please submit a single application for the entire group. Generally, funding is limited to $350 per student unless there are unusual circumstances to justify additional funding. Also, students can only be funded for one academic conference per year.  Funding is limited to allow support for a variety of student requests and academic engagement beyond the College. If airfare is involved, please submit your request as early as possible to avoid fare increases.

Course Field Trip or Other Course-Related Travel

Occasionally, professors arrange field trips or outings for their classes that fall under the guidelines of student travel listed above. When this is the case we ask that a travel request form be submitted.  In most cases funding is not needed and therefore the anticipated costs and funding request sections of the form do not have to be completed. In order to maintain records of travel participants and respond to emergency situations, we ask that students who go on these trips fill out the Travel Participant Registration.

Reserving College Vehicles

If College funding is being requested, College vans are strongly recommended for ground travel for liability and insurance reasons. For large groups over 16 people, chartering a bus may be more cost effective. Use of personal vehicles is discouraged and mileage will not be reimbursed. If using personal vehicles limit passengers to five people per vehicle. Per Minnesota law, when using a personal vehicle (not College owned, leased, or rented) the automobile insurance of the vehicle's owner is the primary (first in line) insurance should accident or injury occur. All drivers and passengers should be made aware of this.

Excused Absences

Please note that approval of travel and or funding for travel does not constitute an excused absence from class. It is each students responsibility to make specific arrangements with their course instructors as needed. Please refer to the policy on excused absences in the Student Handbook.

For further information please contact Joan Maze, Director of Campus Activities and Operations at