LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) โ€” 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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โ€œThis has been an incredibly challenging time as many students have been making their college decision in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic,โ€ 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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โ€œThe incoming class will be one of our most talented and diverse yet, and UC is proud to invite them to join us,โ€ 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.