LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The University of California says its admission of California students is at an all-time high, and Latino students for the first time are the largest ethnic group of incoming freshmen.

Even as universities grapple with holding classes amid a pandemic, UC says it expects to increase its total 2020-21 resident enrollment by 1,600, on top of the more than 17,700 California-based students who have been enrolled since 2014-15.

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“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.

A good chunk of that increase will be from underrepresented groups. Latino students will for the first time be the largest ethnic group of freshmen, going up 36% from 34% admitted last year. The number of Asian-American student remained steady at 35 percent, while the number of white students went down a percentage point to 21 percent. The number of Black students ticked up to 5% from 4.8%, while the number of indigenous students stayed at 0.5%.

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“The incoming class will be one of our most talented and diverse yet, and UC is proud to invite them to join us,” Napolitano said.

UC says they are also seeing an increase in admission of low-income and first-generation college students this year. The number of California freshmen who would be the first to earn a four-year college degree grew to 45% from 44%, while the number of low-income students is up to 44 percent from 40%.

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Admission of community college students for the 2020-21 year also increased by 756, an increase of 9 percent from last year.