Helicopter Parents Now Black Hawks

September 29th, 2009 by Mark Thompson Leave a reply »

HelicopterParentsDuring  a recent enrollment discussion with a college dean I used the  phrase “helicopter parents.”  The Dean abruptly corrected me, saying, “They are more than just helicopter parents now, they are Black Hawks!”

Parents have very much zeroed in on the college search process of their children and those activities that lead them to the  campus of  “their” choice – with “their” being the parent and not the student.  Just yesterday,  I  saw a hand-written note on a returned prospecting survey we had sent to a rising senior (as part of our Yield Enhancement service). The eight word message was written atop the front page declaring, “Completed by Mom based on perceived student opinion.”

The “Completed by Mom”  distinction was also evident in Longmire and Company’s 2009 Economic Impact Study on College Enrollment.  Parents of prospective college students were surveyed and we found mothers completed the survey by more than 2 to 1 over fathers.

These three examples give admissions officers a true glimpse into the heightened interaction of parents, in particular mothers, into the 2010 college search process of their children. What do mothers really want their children to have when on campus? How do college admissions offices get dad more involved? What does that take? When does that happen? What are the differences and distinctions between the parents in deciding what campus their child attends? And, does this meet the ultimate goal of finding the right fit for the student?

I look forward to finding out more from the  “Black Hawk” moms and dads when the results come in from our October 2009 co-sponsored study of parents and how they evaluate colleges and influence enrollment.

Copyright Longmire and Company, Inc.