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The online version of the IPEDS Glossary provides definitions for almost 500 postsecondary-related terms used in the collection and dissemination of IPEDS data.

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Term Definition Related terms
Variable A fundamental unit of data contained in a file which is given a unique label.
Vested retirement plan One in which the full amount of the contribution by the institution and by the state and local government, with accumulations thereon, will be made available as a benefit in case of death while in service and with no forfeiture in case of resignation or dismissal from the institution.
Veterans Administration (VA) Education Benefits Those benefits available to military personnel and their families for financial assistance at approved postsecondary education institutions. There can be three types of beneficiaries: Surviving spouses and children; Discharged veterans; and Active military personnel in special programs.
Virtual reference service Services provided by email or the Web and includes information and referral services that take less than 20 minutes of staff person's time.
Volume Use the ANSI/NISO Z39.7-2013 definition for volume, which is as follows: A single physical unit of any printed, typewritten, handwritten, mimeographed, or processed work, distinguished from other units by a separate binding, encasement, portfolio, or other clear distinction, which has been cataloged, classified, and made ready for use, and which is typically the unit used to charge circulation transactions. Include print photographs, duplicates and bound volumes of periodicals. For purposes of this questionnaire, unclassified bound serials arranged in alphabetical order are considered classified. Exclude microfilms, maps, nonprint materials, and uncataloged items. Include Government document volumes that are accessible through the library's catalogs regardless of whether they are separately shelved. "Classified" includes documents arranged by Superintendent of Documents, CODOC, or similar numbers. "Cataloged" includes documents for which records are provided by the library or downloaded from other sources into the library's card or online catalogs.


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National Center for Education Statistics -
U.S. Department of Education