Let College Kids Resolve Problems Themselves?

Let College Kids Resolve Problems Themselves?Let College Kids Resolve Problems Themselves?

Re “4 Ways to Help Your College Kid Grow Up,” by Natalie Friedman, the director of family engagement at Barnard College (Op-Ed, Feb. 5): Dr. Friedman’s tsk-tsk admonishment to parents seeking to help their college students is typical of the insular world of higher education. Parents are the customers of these universities, and when these institutions fail to provide a good product and great customer service, they should be called out and held to account. We parents drop north of $40,000 annually to these institutions, some with multi-billion-dollar endowments, and it is not helicopter or snowplow parenting for us to expect at least the very basics in return for our money. It should entitle our students to be able to attend the classes they need to graduate on time. It should deliver our students reasonable class sizes and some measure of professor engagement with them as individuals. It should allow the flexibility for our students to miss some classes or tests because of illness or family emergency without a teacher claiming, as happened to my son, bedridden by flu, “I don’t offer makeup tests.“ Our students should be allowed to focus on their studies and development and not have to devote effort to getting these “businesses” to deliver a good product in return for our money.
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