By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The elimination of standardized testing appears to have opened a floodgate of eager college students, if the record applications to UCLA and UC Irvine are any indication.

Both Southern California universities reported received the largest number of freshman applications in their respective histories for Fall 2021 admission.

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UCLA says their freshman applications grew by 28% from 109,000 last year to almost 139,500 this year, making the Westwood campus again the most applied-to university in the nation. The university says they also saw a whopping 48% increase in applications from Black students, from 61,000 last year to more than 9,000 this year, and a 33% increase in Chicano/Latino students, from about 24,200 to more than 32,300.

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The number of Pacific Islander and Native American applicants also went up, by 34% and 16%.

UCLA believes their outreach efforts to high schools and community-based organizations in underserved communities were partly to credit for larger and more diverse freshman class, adding “we also recognize that the removal of standardized testing as a requirement for admission played a role in these substantial increases.”

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UC Irvine says they have also set a new record of freshman applications – a total of 107,939 for the upcoming school year, up 10,000 from the last year. The university says Fall 2021 applications has made it the top University of California choice for in-state, first-generation students for a third year in a row.