According to preliminary data released Thursday by the University of California, Latino students will make up the majority of the University of California’s freshman class for this upcoming school year. For the first time ever at the schools, they are now the largest ethnic or racial group of incoming freshmen, making up 36% of the nearly 80,000 admitted students.
Offers to California freshmen from underrepresented groups increased by 4,678 for a total of 33,225, an increase of 16 percent from last year. In a first in UC history, Chicanx/Latinx students now comprise the largest ethnic group of admitted freshmen, making up 36 percent of admitted freshmen, up from 34 percent last year. Asian American students remained at 35 percent and white students decreased by a percentage point to 21 percent of admitted freshmen. The proportion of African American students inched higher from 4.8 percent to 5 percent and American Indian students remained at 0.5 percent.
The University also saw an increase in admission of low-income and first-generation-to-college students this year. The proportion of California freshmen who would be the first in their families to earn a four-year college degree increased to 45 percent (35,058), up from 44 percent (30,856) in 2019, while the proportion of low-income students grew to 44 percent (30,865), up from 40 percent (26,913).
“This has been an incredibly challenging time as many students have been making their college decision in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said UC President Janet Napolitano. “UC continues to see increased admissions of underrepresented students as we seek to educate a diverse student body of future leaders. The incoming class will be one of our most talented and diverse yet, and UC is proud to invite them to join us.”
While the debate for how to reopen Universities in the wake of rising COVID-19 numbers is not yet solved, many schools in the University of California system are opening up with many of their classes offered online, and some classes with in-person options. Some schools, like the University of California Davis plan to offer in-person instruction for the “small number of courses that cannot be delivered remotely,” including classes that emphasize hands-on learning.