I received an interesting email regarding ‘Helicopter Parents.’ The term refers to parents who hover over their children’s every move.
It appears once a child turns 18 and is ready for college, helicopter parents aren’t ready to let them go. Kaplan’s Test Prep and Admission Survey, which talked to admission officers at 387 of the nation’s top colleges and universities, found that 77% of officers believe parental involvement is on the rise in the college admissions process. Because of this, 61% admitted to developing new initiatives to keep parents informed, which might include Facebook, separate tours of the school for students only and students with parents, and special seminars.
Other schools want to cut the parental involvement umbilical cord altogether.
“Parents are more involved because
the college admissions process is extremely competitive and
increasingly expensive. They want to make sure that they are helping
their children make smart decisions and that they are making smart
investments in their children’s education,” said Justin Serrano,
president, pre-college programs, Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions.
This makes sense, considering the cost of college these days. I still have quite a few years to go before my six year old will enter a University, but we’re already saving and expecting the worse. With the idea of investing nearly $20,000 per year in a university, which was the average cost of a year’s tuition in 2009 according to the College Board, parents want to know what is going on, and they want to make sure their children are getting into the best educational system possible.
But there is, of course, a limit to this. Serrano goes on to say that some parents have been known to fill out the college application and, worse, write the child’s personal essay.
What can you do to ensure you’re allowing your child the opportunity to take control of his or her college education? Allow your child to fill out all necessary paperwork and write all essays. If there are questions that need to be answered about financial aid or classes, have your child ask them. You might help them find the best person to turn to while on campus, but let the main correspondence go through your child, which will in turn teach him or her personal responsibility.
What do you think about these results? Do you feel you’ll want to hover more when your child prepares for college, or do you believe this is the time we have to step back and let them take matters into their own hands?