For the first time ever, Latinos make up the biggest group of California freshmen admitted to the University of California school system.
The incoming class is at an all-time high in overall admits, as well. Last year, the UC system admitted just over 71,000 California students. That number for 2020 is at nearly 80,000.
Over several years, Asian Americans have typically been the most represented. This year, Latinos, at 36 percent, just surpass Asian Americans, at 35 percent. White and African American students make up 21 percent and 5 percent of the admits, respectively. Less than 1 percent of California freshmen are Pacific Islander or American Indian.
The shift reflects California’s demographics. For the state’s population, Latinos also make up the largest group at 39 percent. The rest of the population breaks down as follows: 37 percent are white, 15 percent are Asian American, 6 percent are African American, 3 percent are multiracial and less than 1 percent are American Indian or Pacific Islander.
As explained by the Los Angeles Times, UC Berkeley, compared to the other UC campuses, accepted the largest number of Black and Latino students in 30 years. The boost is more than a 40 percent increase over the last year. Though this shift is promising, UC Berkeley is known for its “poor reputation among Black students.”
Last week’s announcement comes at a time when universities are grappling with how to welcome back students in the fall. Students, meanwhile, are planning the safest mode to continue their education.
“This has been an incredibly challenging time as many students have been making their college decision in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic,” UC President Janet Napolitano said in a statement. “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.”
Last fall, Napolitano announced she would be stepping down from her position. The 10-month search for her replacement culminated in the appointment of Dr. Michael V. Drake to the position. Drake will be the first Black UC president when he assumes the role next month.