Three in 10 parents do not believe their child's education has allowed them to reach their full potential, according to a survey.
When it comes to making choices about where to study, youngsters are most heavily influenced by their family and friends, it also reveals.
Students say their parents exert the most influence over their choice of school, college or academy, followed by friends and teachers.
Over 90% of parents think that they and their children have made informed decisions about education but 30% do not believe that their child's education enabled them to achieve their potential.
The survey was commissioned by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations education and skills group, which asked 579 students and 501 parents about their decisions on school and university.
Group chair Louise Jaggs said: "The research shows just how much sway parents have on the education choices of young people. Parents are at the heart of the decision-making process and they, in turn, are heavily influenced by the views of other family and friends.
"The results also raise important questions about the role of professional careers advice in the decision-making process. Family and individual teachers appear to have much more influence on choices than independent advisers."