Twitter chat: How important are college choices?

High school seniors are applying to more schools than ever. But fewer are enrolling in their top choice. Photo by Charlie Nguyen

Is choosing the right college or university to attend still a factor that could make or break a student's academic career? According to the 2016 American Freshman Survey, the majority of students (75.5 percent) entering college for the first time in fall 2015 were accepted into their first choice, but only 59 percent enrolled.

What factors are involved that prevents students from attending their preferred school? And what are the potential benefits and risks of going elsewhere?

NewsHour, as part of a month-long series on higher education, hosted a Twitter chat on college choices. We talked with Eric Greenberg of the Greenberg Educational Group, which offers college prep and advising services to student across the country, and Allison Lopour of CollegeWise, which guides students through the college admissions process. Brennan Barnard, director of college counseling at Derryfield School in Manchester, N.H., took part. He has written extensively on the college prep and admissions process, even likening it to the Hunger Games.

And Joe Ramirez, researcher with UCLA's Higher Education Research Institute, joined us to break down the American Freshman Survey with insight on how students are evaluating their college choices.

Check out a recap of our chat below.

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