UC Irvine is the ‘Most Popular’ University in CA for Latinos


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Latinos have made great strides in education in recent years, with more enrolling two- and four-year colleges and universities than ever before. Despite these gains, there is still a significant gap between Latinos and other racial and ethnic minorities in obtaining college degrees.

Many universities around the country are coming up with new and innovative approaches to not only increase the enrollment of Latino students, but to also help them succeed when they get on campus. In all, 492 campuses in 19 states and Puerto Rico have been designated Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), which allows them to apply for about $100 million annually in federal research grants.

For the University of California – Irvine campus, these strategies have begun to pay off. The Irvine (10.05% Latino population) campus is now the most popular choice for Latino freshmen applicants in the University of California system, topping longtime leader UCLA for the first time last fall.

“What you’re seeing at UC Irvine … is a conscious decision to make certain they expand the nature of the population they’re serving,” said Terry Hartle, senior vice president of the American Council on Education in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. “One concern about major research universities is that they don’t necessarily look like the population of the United States. They are overrepresented with whites and Asians and underrepresented with African Americans and Hispanics.”

For the first time ever, more than half of UC Irvine’s graduating class this year are first-generation college students. The university is also doing what it can to ensure the success of these students, especially its incoming Latinos.

“We think it’s important to show that great higher education can be there for all of the people,” said UC Irvine Chancellor Howard Gillman. “The demographics of the state are changing, and great institutions that were there for generations past should also be there for generations of the future.”

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