Parent Involvement in Postsecondary Choices and Higher Education Experience

The role of parents in the lives of their college-aged children has shifted significantly over time. While parent involvement is an accepted norm in K–12 education, particularly as it relates to the academic success of students, the role of parents becomes more ambiguous as students transition into college. In recent years, popular terminology referencing the role of parents has positioned them as overly involved and hovering. These terms, which often refer to negative involvement behaviors, include helicopter parents, bulldozer parents, and FedEx parents, to name a few.

Only recently have researchers begun exploring the varied ways in which parents are involved and the more positive aspects of that involvement. This is particularly true for parents of first-generation college students, low-income students, and students of color. ...

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