LA Times Fanatically Obsesses Over the University of California’s Diverse Freshman Class

The University of California system recently made history now that Hispanics are the main group of incoming freshmen accepted into the university for the fall semester of 2020.

Data released on July 16, 2020 indicated that this freshman class is the most diverse in the history of the University of California’s system.

Latinos slightly topped Asian Americans for the first time. Hispanics compromise 36 percent of the 79,953 California students potentially receiving admission. Asians made up 35 percent, Whites 21 percent, and African American students 5 percent. The rest of the people listed were American Indians, Pacific Islanders or those who declined to disclose their race or ethnicity. About 44 percent of students who were admitted were low-income while 45 percent were the first in their families to enroll in a four-year anniversary.

“This has been an incredibly challenging time as many students have been making their college decision in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic,” declared 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.”

UC Berkeley led the way among University of California campuses in increasing admission offers to minority communities. It accepted the largest number of Black and Latino students in three decades, which represented a 40 percent increase during the last year.

“These numbers are an important and gratifying indication that our efforts to advance and expand the diversity of our undergraduate student body are beginning to bear fruit,” UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ declared in a statement. “But now, more than ever, we must not be complacent, and remain focused on building a campus community that truly represents the state we serve, and allows every student to experience a true sense of belonging.”

LA Times staff writer Teresa Watanabe highlighted some of the demographic changes taking place in California that are leading to these changes in admission numbers:

Audrey Dow, senior vice president for the Campaign for College Opportunity, said demographics are one reason behind the surge in admission offers to Latinos: They made up 51.8% of California high school graduates in 2018-19 compared with 42% in 2009-10, according to state Department of Education data. Equally important, the number of Latino high school graduates who met UC and California State University admission requirements hit 94,297 in 2019, an increase of about 7,000 students over 2017.

Asian Americans were the largest group receiving freshmen seats at 42 percent. Hispanics trailed at 29 percent, whites at 19 percent, and Blacks were at 5 percent.

California policymakers have made promoting diversity a major part of the state’s policy agenda. Earlier this year, the Board of Regents voted to gradually phase out SAT and ACT tests as requirements for admission due to how they “are heavily influenced by race, income and parental education level.”

Regents also voted in favor of a proposed constitutional amendment that would repeal Proposition 209, which voters approved back in 1996. Prop 209 banned affirmative action in public education and employment in the Golden State.

Diversity for diversity’s sake should never be a goal of public policy.

If America is a meritocracy, it would only allow the best and brightest to occupy spots in higher education and other institutions, irrespective of their ethnic and racial backgrounds.


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