article by Teresa Watanabe via latimes.com
The University of California’s flagship campuses have significantly boosted admissions offers to state residents — including the most African Americans and Latinos since voters banned affirmative action two decades ago — officials announced Wednesday.
Both also made striking gains in increasing the number of underrepresented minorities, progress that is likely to ease pressure from state legislators to boost diversity at UC’s most elite campuses.
UCLA, for instance, led the 10-campus system in admissions offers to African Americans as a percentage of all students. The Westwood campus offered seats to 624 African Americans, or 6% of all students, representing a 24% increase over last year.
Among Latinos, UCLA admissions offers increased to 2,527, or 24.3% of all students, representing a boost of 17%.
The number of Asian Americans offered admission to UCLA increased to 4,115 this year from 3,952 last year, but their share of the campus’ admitted freshmen class shrunk from 42% to 39.5%. Those numbers may spark continued debate about whether Asian Americans are being held to higher standards than other students in admissions decisions.
The number of admission offers to whites slightly increased at UCLA to 2,561, or 24.6% of all students.
The 10,400 California high school seniors who won admission to UCLA competed for a spot among 97,115 applicants, a record number.
Under a deal between UC President Janet Napolitano and Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature, UC agreed to accept 5,000 more Californians this year in exchange for $25 million more in state funding.
A scathing state audit earlier this year accused UC of hurting California students by admitting too many out-of-state and international applicants, who pay higher tuition. UC officials have denounced the audit as unfair and unwarranted.
In the last four years, UCLA in particular has aggressively recruited promising African American students, launching mentoring programs with Los Angeles Unified schools and with several Inland Empire churches. Officials also have increased their appearances at community fairs and Starbucks across South Los Angeles to share information about UCLA.
“Increasingly, students from across California and the world are finding UCLA to be a compelling college choice because of the exceptional combination of world-class academic programs and our amazingly diverse student body and residential community,” Youlonda Copeland-Morgan, UCLA’s vice provost for enrollment management, said in statement.
Berkeley also made gains, increasing offers to African American applicants to 401 this year from 342 last year, and Latinos to 1,789 from 1,655 over the same period. Asian Americans remained the largest ethnic group in the admitted California freshman class, making up 43.5%, followed by whites at 27.7%, Latinos at 18.3% and African Americans at 4.1%.
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