Q: Our 17-year-old daughter wants to begin visiting colleges. We’re feeling like the Grinches Who Stole College Visitations because neither of us feel there’s any value to this. We fail to understand how walking among and through buildings and hearing a sales pitch is going to result in a rational decision. Our friends think we’re neglecting our parental duties. What are your thoughts on this?

A: I’m going to assume that neither of your parents took you on these fascinating excursions or you would have more appreciation for their inestimable value.

Sarcasm aside (for the moment), I’m on the same page with you. Neither my wife nor I visited any colleges. We looked at brochures, talked to our counselors, friends and people who’d attended the colleges that interested us, made a choice, obtained our parents’ approval, and went off to college.

We did not take our children on college visitations either. We told them to pick an in-state college because that is where they were going for at least the first two years. They applied, got accepted and off they went.

Is there evidence that these costly visits are helping students make rational decisions? No. More students than ever are dropping out during or immediately after their (usually disastrous) first year. I’ll bet there is a statistical correspondence between the increase in college visitations and the increase in the freshman dropout rate.

A mom recently told me that after 10 campus visits, the daughter decided to go to such-and-such college. When I asked the basis for her daughter’s decision, the mother answered, “She said she just got a good feeling when she was there.”

I felt like screaming, “You have got to be kidding me!! You are actually going to agree to send your daughter to that very expensive college because she got a certain FEELING??”

This parent-child college visitation phenomenon is yet another manifestation of what I call Cuisinart parenting. In case the reader is puzzling over the term, Cuisinart parenting is one step above helicopter parenting. It is being a part of every decision one’s child makes — blended in, if you will — from the time the child is a toddler. Twenty years later, many of these same parents are attending their kids’ post-college job interviews.

Tell teens to research colleges online and go through the application process. My feeling is that a teen who can’t fill out a college application without Mommy and Daddy’s help isn’t college material.

Visit Rosemond’s website at www.johnrosemond.com; email questions@rosemond.com.