Parents Want to Be Involved

EAB survey finds they want direct communication with colleges.

August 29, 2022
Bar chart shows increase in parents desiring direct communication with colleges from 2020 to 2022.

An EAB survey of 2,330 parents has found that they have become more important to students in deciding where to go to college and that they are more likely than in the past to want direct communication from colleges.

Students (in a separate survey) named parents as among their top five sources of information 48 percent of the time, compared to 37 percent in 2020 and 34 percent in 2019.

What do parents want? Seventy-five percent of them want direct communication from colleges, up from 71 percent in 2020.

“Today’s parents are concerned about college cost, often uncertain about value, and anxious about their children’s safety and well-being,” said EAB.

“For many colleges, the question is not whether, but when, to start communicating with parents. In our 2022 survey as in previous surveys, we found that parents tend to get involved in college research around the same time as their children do. Just under 20 percent of families have started researching colleges by freshman year, and just under 50 percent have done so by the end of sophomore year,” said the EAB report. “Communicating with parents early in high school can help your institution cater to parents’ desire for information and start to build a relationship with families.”

On some issues, the survey notes difference between parents based on their race or ethnicity. Families of color are more likely than white families to value proximity to where they live. Eighteen percent of white parents value proximity, while 22 percent of Black parents, 25 percent of Asian parents and 28 percent of Latino parents do.

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Scott Jaschik

Scott Jaschik, Editor, is one of the three founders of Inside Higher Ed. With Doug Lederman, he leads the editorial operations of Inside Higher Ed, overseeing news content, opinion pieces, career advice, blogs and other features. Scott is a leading voice on higher education issues, quoted regularly in publications nationwide, and publishing articles on colleges in publications such as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Salon, and elsewhere. He has been a judge or screener for the National Magazine Awards, the Online Journalism Awards, the Folio Editorial Excellence Awards, and the Education Writers Association Awards. Scott served as a mentor in the community college fellowship program of the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media, of Teachers College, Columbia University. He is a member of the board of the Education Writers Association. From 1999-2003, Scott was editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education. Scott grew up in Rochester, N.Y., and graduated from Cornell University in 1985. He lives in Washington.

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