May 28, 1999


Slight Increase In Underrepresented MinorityEnrollment at UC

The Associated Press

BERKELEY, Calif. - The number of underrepresented minorities entering the University of California this fall has slightly increased, an upturn credited to strong recruitment and a more comprehensive application review.

Most of the gains in the second year without affirmative action were made by Hispanic students, who will make up 9.1 percent of overall enrollment, compared to 8.9 percent last year.

The number of black students who are expected to enroll was virtually unchanged, from 751 to 755, but Hispanic expected enrollment rose from 3,190 last fall to 3,391, an increase of 6 percent. American Indians, also considered an underrepre-sented minority, showed a decrease in expected enrollment, from 200 to 148, a drop of 26 percent.

Overall, underrepresented minorities make up 15.4 percent of the 27,800 students who plan to attend this fall.

At the same time, the proportion of Asian Americans has increased to 37.7 percent, up from 35.2 percent last year. White students also increased to 37.7 percent, 3.7 percent higher than last year.

UC regents voted in 1995 to abolish race-based admissions. The changes went into effect for undergraduates last fall, leading to sharp decreases in black and Hispanic admissions.

But this year, black and Hispanic admissions have rebounded a bit. Admissions of blacks, Hispanics and American Indians fell only 27 students short of the total for fall 1997, the last year of affirmative action.

Figures released Tuesday reflect the number of admitted students who have indicated they plan to accept their offers.

Although overall numbers were up, the percentage of underrepresented minorities accepting offers of admission dipped slightly, from 57 percent last year to just under 56 percent this year.

Looking at individual campuses, results were mixed.

At Berkeley, for instance, the number of black students intending to enroll rose from 95 to 111, up 17 percent, and the number of Hispanics expected to enroll rose from 264 to 321, up 22 percent. The numbers were also up at UCLA, with underrepresented students rising from 594 to 629, an increase of 6 percent.

But other campuses posted slight decreases in enrollment. At San Diego, statements of intent to enroll were filed by 297 underrepresented students, a 2.9 percent decrease from last year.

UCSD Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Joseph Watson said officials are ``deeply disappointed'' by the drop and plan to reverse it.

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