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Other parents think the events could be more to the point. “A lot of this letting go business — they could condense that before lunch, and then after lunch do the practical stuff,” as Morgan Roth put it. Ms. Roth loves American University, where her daughter will be a student in the fall, but she thought much of the material in the parent orientation could have been covered in a webinar, and she wished they’d included a session on how to understand the tuition bill instead of one on student nutrition.

Still, the number of family members attending these events at Cleveland State University has tripled in the last five years. At Northeastern University in Boston, “at least 85 percent if not 90 percent of students have parents that also attend our programs,” said spokeswoman Katherine Cadwell.

At Indiana State University at Terre Haute, orientations have included “as many as nine family members, including grandparents,” said spokesman John Beacon. “We don’t mind at all and we enjoy having the whole family participate. We recognize there are lots of helicopter parents. Rather than try to limit their involvement, we embrace it.”