You know what’s depressing to college students — besides term papers, sleep deprivation and cafeteria food? It’s hovering parents.

It’s those parents who contact their children’s tutors, run their schedules and dictate their vacations.

It’s parents who, in trying to be helpful, undermine their children’s need to feel independent and competent.

The study, published this month in Springer’s Journal of Child and Family Studies, should be a relief to parents who don’t have the time or inclination to be so involved in their college children’s lives.

And it could be a relief to a growing number of well-meaning helicopter parents to learn that they can — and should — lighten up.

It used to be that college students and their parents talked weekly by phone. The research, performed at the University of Mary Washington, noted that cell phones, texting and emails have increased communication, often to the emotional and social detriment of the student.

And in case that’s not enough of an incentive to limit text messages, a previous study by the University of Michigan School of Public Health indicated that college students with depression are twice as likely to drop out.

You know who should be depressed — and contrite — after reading the report?

Helicopter parents.