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For the first time, Latinos make up the majority of freshmen admitted to the University of California

Pandemia: Latinos in Crisis
Pandemia: Latinos in Crisis 48:29

Latino students will make up the majority of the University of California's freshman class for this upcoming school year, according to preliminary data released Thursday. For the first time 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.

Among other groups, UC's figures show Asian Americans made up 35%, Whites 21% and African American 5%. Offers to California freshmen from underrepresented groups increased by 4,678 for a total of 33,225, an increase of 16% from last year, the school said in a news release.

"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." 

UC also saw an increase in admission of low-income and first-generation students to attend college this year. The proportion of low-income students grew to 30,865, up from 26,913 in 2019, according to the school's statistics. The data also showed that the amount of California freshmen who would be the first in their families to earn a four-year college degree increased to 35,058, up from 30,856 last year. 

While the debate over whether to open schools plays out amid the pandemic, most of the UC undergraduate campuses have announced plans for a hybrid of in-class and remote learning.

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