The university says freshman applications grew to 139,500, a jump of 28% from last year when applications received totaled 109,000.
Applications from African American students rose by 48% and Chicano/Latino students by 33%. The number of Pacific Islander and American Indian freshman applicants also grew by 34% and 16%, respectively, according to the university.
"These significant increases are partly the result of our robust outreach efforts and our partnerships with high schools and community-based organizations, particularly in underserved communities," said Youlonda Copeland-Morgan, UCLA's vice provost for enrollment management.
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"But we also recognize that the removal of standardized testing as a requirement for admission played a role in these substantial increases," Copeland-Morgan added.
Standardized tests were pulled as a requirement in response to challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The surge in applications seen by UCLA was reflected across the University of California system, which saw a 16% increase in applications.
UCLA will notify freshman applicants of admission decisions by April 1, and admitted students will have until May 1 to actually enroll. Prospective transfer students will be notified by April 30 of admission decisions, and admitted students will have until June 1 to commit.
City News Service contributed to this report.