Would that this news were from The Onion:
“Helicopter parents,” already ubiquitous in undergraduate admissions, are invading the graduate-school process, too, driven by the rising cost of advanced degrees as well as by hard-to-break habits of coddling.The article is behind the paywall: Parents Now Get Themselves Involved in Graduate Admissions, Too (The Chronicle of Higher Education).
Some of these parents have become so aggressive that they’ve required a new moniker: “snowplow parents,” for their impulse to push obstacles out of their adult children’s way.
“It’s the new norm,” Thomas P. Rock, assistant dean for enrollment services at Columbia University’s Teachers College, says of parents’ involvement in graduate-school admissions. “It’s the Gilmore Girls phenomenon. Moms want to stay best friends with their daughter and all her friends.”
Mr. Rock has fielded calls from more than one set of parents about the status of a student’s application. A few times, when he asked why the student couldn't have called herself, the parent said she was out shopping at the mall.
Parents call Teachers College professors to complain about grades. They descend on weekends set aside for visits by prospective students who have been admitted. One student’s family came dressed in matching plaid Burberry jackets.
“It’s just something we’re not used to,” Mr. Rock said.
[I hadn’t realized how much embarrassment we’ve saved our children.]