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 wellbeing,” 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.