So now that high school students are in that nice, brief moment where they get to choose which colleges they’ll attend, colleges are in high gear to try and present their schools attractively.

Interestingly, however, it’s not just the students they’re trying to impress; it’s the parents. According to an article by Jenna Johnson in the Washington Post:

Now Marymount sends parents postcards several times a year, invites them to parent-only events and publishes a full-color “Guide for Parents.” It is one of a growing number of schools to discover that it’s not enough to communicate with prospective students. The colleges are also wooing parents who are digitally tethered to their offspring and want more involvement than writing a tuition check.

Of course, they’re the ones paying for college so I guess this impulse makes a little sense but come on. Just write the check; at this point there’s not much else parents can do to ensure that college goes well. According to the article:

”I’m very involved with this whole process, almost to the point where it’s too much,” said Nancy Levinson of Long Island, N.Y., whose 17-year-old daughter, Shelby, recently visited American [University]. “I’m at work in front of a computer all day, and she’s at school. I look things up. I don’t want her to wait to find things out.”

Um, maybe try working while you’re at work.

Everyone should seriously resist this sort of inappropriate behavior. Potential college students are supposed to “wait to find things out.” That’s what this process is for. Didn’t parents have their own college experiences?

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer