Parents Now Get Themselves Involved in Graduate Admissions, Too

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Mark Abramson for The Chronicle

Thomas Rock (right), an admissions officer at Columbia U.’s Teachers College, has fielded more than a few queries from parents about their adult child’s graduate-school application. Here he talks with a new student at an orientation session.

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Mark Abramson for The Chronicle

Thomas Rock (right), an admissions officer at Columbia U.’s Teachers College, has fielded more than a few queries from parents about their adult child’s graduate-school application. Here he talks with a new student at an orientation session.

Michele R. Mahoney, assistant director of graduate admissions at Wheelock College, was startled to hear an applicant's father on the other end of the line.

She had left a message for his son, an applicant to the master's-degree program in social work. The father explained that he had returned her call because his son was busy doing music therapy with elderly people in New York.

He went on to compare his son to the prodigious cellist from the film August Rush, arguing