The survey asked about students' perceptions of parents' activities but not whether Mom helped them write application essays or Dad accompanied them on campus tours.
The survey also found some unsettling trends in students' reliance on the Internet. Nearly 76% of freshmen reported frequent Internet use for research and homework, but only 35% said they often verify that information with other sources, such as library books and experts.
In interviews, many students said they do so much Internet research because they don't have to leave the comfort of their dorm room.
The Internet also allows them to e-mail references and articles when working on group projects.
"It's pretty reliable," said USC freshman Joayn Truong, 18, of Piedmont, Calif., who almost always opts for Google over library books.
UCLA's Hurtado said she was surprised that the share of students checking Internet accuracy wasn't even lower. She said there is obviously room for improvement, but "I'm glad that a third are evaluating it."