Apparently parents of college students are now taking a really active role in helping their children pick colleges and majors. This is pretty creepy (“you will be a lawyer, like daddy!”) but, really, can you blame them?

According to an article by Bonnie Miller Rubin in the Chicago Tribune:

Those footing the bill are taking an increasingly hard-nosed, consumer-oriented approach to their child’s higher education, education experts said.

Parents are pushing their student into certain majors, vetoing others and advocating for in-state schools over more expensive status brands. They’re grilling administrators on job placement rates and alumni networks. In short, they are demanding a better return on their hefty investment than ever before, and administrators say they are getting the message.

In past years discussions about helicopter parents focused on rich people trying to force their students into Ivy League (or similar) institutions. The parents are still really involved, but now they’re getting practical.

They’re focused on state schools, job placement, and average salaries of graduates. They’re going to career offices.

That’s probably not much better for the actual kids, who perhaps don’t want to be nurses or engineers.

This is what happens when college costs so much that it prevents college students from becoming independent. They are adults, but they’re so reliant on their parents they can’t behave like adults. But how can we blame their parents for being overly involved? They’re the ones paying for the education, at least most of it. [Image via]

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