They cannot drink until 21 even if emancipated. They cannot vote until 18. They are still restricted in many of the same ways, even as they are deemed capable of living life without a legal guardian. Quite a paradox. It seems the state becomes a sort of legal guardian by default, but only on the books, not in any practical terms.
However, this still doesn't clarify whether the institution of higher learning is responsible for their well being when parents simply send them off to live away at college when there is no prior procedure for initiating emancipation.
I still cannot locate the case I referred to. If I could locate the date when I first posted about it, I might be able to find the case.