Parents as college partners

  • Article by: KEVYN BURGER , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 25, 2012 - 1:46 PM

Parents are taking a more active role when their children go off to college. But how much is too much?

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mowjo1Aug. 26, 12 8:52 AM

This is all fine and dandy but it delays the student's critical thinking skills they will need later on int he REAL world. I've interviewed some very intelligent grads who couldn't answer questions that tested their critical thinking skills. Everything today is "collaborative" where students need to ask their peers or parents what they think before acting.

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spicebearAug. 26, 1210:12 AM

many of these articles about 'college" seem to work from the assumption that attending a 4-year college and graduating in 4-5 years is the normal path for a young adult. It isn't. First off, a majority of HS grads simply do not go, they choose another path. The final statistic is % of people with a BA... It consistently hovers just over 30%. Yes, MANY HS grads START 4 year college, but an alarming % do not FINISH... It is time for parents to wake up to the dysfuntion of this system and start demanding radical reforms.

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tmrichardsonAug. 26, 1211:17 AM

The article makes and assumption that is wrong--that parents have changed, but the kids are still the same. When I was attending two colleges and obtaining two degrees, my parents were solid middle class in income but didn't have to help me much with cost: money I had earned myself and from a part time job at school combined with grant money I did not have to pay back to get me through my undergrad degree. I didn't have more than a few hundred dollars to my name after graduating as I recall but I owed nothing. A big key to that was the funding system of the day allowed me to declare myself as independent from my parents quite easily. Today I have two kids in college. My wife and I--solid middle class income. My kids can't declare themselves independent if they stay at home at all during the year, and the rules of college financing consider everything from teh value of our home to inherited shared family assets as fully liquid income we could produce immediately to fund our kids education. Both kids worked summers and during the school year. They struggled to find a good-paying job for a year or two, working minimum wage jobs for awhile. Heading off to college neither had earned enough to cover the cost of attending even one year in school. This past summer both kids worked long hours. One worked a full time job and a full time upaid internship in her field. We rarely saw either of them, and they darn sure were not around when it came time to prepare to go back to school--questions came up--and someone had to call the university. Both kids are well adjusted, excellent students--they just don't have TIME. At least not during the day which is the only time schools have staff to assist students. We parents do. So we end up doing more of the things we did ourselves back in the day for our kids.

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FrankLAug. 26, 12 2:43 PM

Big difference is that most parents have college educations and know the ins & outs of the system. For example, I have helped my kids in choosing courses, particularly finding the ones that satisfy a lot of pre-requisites. The advisors are useless, thus parents have to step in.

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mowjo1Aug. 26, 12 3:42 PM

"That's why Kaler, the wife of University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler, volunteers for the university's Parent Program." No, she has a keen interest in keeping these students in school so they can help pay her husband's very large salary.

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spicebearAug. 26, 12 5:31 PM

@ "Most parents have college educations..." Funny thing is, most parents still don't. Despite all the effort and funding to get HS grads to 'college," the % of US adults holding a bachelors degree or higher has hovered around 30% since the mid 70s.

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