For the first time, the number of Latinos from California offered freshman admission to the University of California was larger than that for whites.
Reflecting demographic trends, 28.8% of those admitted to at least one UC campus were Latino, compared with 26.8% white. At 36.2%, Asian Americans again made up the largest ethnic group among admitted students from California. Blacks from California were just 4.2%, a number that officials said was disturbingly low.
"It remains a difficult issue for the university," said Stephen Handel, UC's associate vice president for undergraduate admissions. "We certainly would like to see more African Americans enrolling at the University of California."
UCLA admitted 406 black students from California, nine more than last year, representing 4.4% of the accepted pool. Youlonda Copeland-Morgan, UCLA's associate vice chancellor for enrollment management, said that even though applications from black students increased by about 5% this year, the campus must increase recruiting to better compete with top universities that offer students more financial aid.
State law forbids the use of racial affirmative action in public university admissions.
In Saturday's Times, reporters Larry Gordon and Carla Rivera examined the latest UC admissions numbers.
Six of UC's nine undergraduate campuses accepted a smaller number of California students than last year even though the number of applicants rose. Competition was fiercest at UCLA, where only 16.3% of state students were admitted, down from 17.4% last year, and at UC Berkeley, where 18.8% were accepted, compared with 21.4% last year.