It used to be that college students would use a dorm pay phone to call home, at most, once a week. After all, self-reliance and self-motivation were to be Lessons 1 and 2. Today college administrators complain about hordes of “helicopter parents” who constantly hover over kids on campus, mostly via cell phone. Now their anecdotes are backed up by some numbers. According to a report released in early November by the National Survey of Student Engagement, nearly 40% of this year’s freshmen had a parent or guardian intervene on their behalf to solve a problem. About seven in 10 students said they communicated “very often” with a parent or guardian. (The proportion was about the same for seniors and freshmen.) And poorly educated parents were about as likely to hover as their well-educated peers. The survey also found that students are only spending 13 to 14 hours per week studying — about half the time most college faculties recommend. Could there be a connection between emotionally over-involved parents and academically under-engaged students?