BLACKSBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Virginia Tech is smashing its record for first-year applications for admission.

President Tim Sands shared that Virginia Tech reported 45,214 applications for the fall 2022 admission. That’s a 7 percent increase from a year ago when 42,084 applications were submitted.

“When you remove barriers to admission, more students can clearly picture themselves as members of the student body,” said Juan Espinoza, associate vice provost for enrollment management and director of undergraduate admissions. “Accessibility is at the heart of being a land-grant university, and we are pleased that more students are targeting Virginia Tech as a possible destination.”

The university reported some notable gains. Black or African American applicants saw a 6 percent increase from 2021, Hispanic/Latino students had a 9 percent increase, and Native American applicants increased by 8 percent.

“This diverse pool of talented students is evidence that our admissions process is working and we are very excited to see how this entering class takes shape,” said Espinoza. “It’s a great time to be a Hokie, and we can’t wait to welcome the Class of 2026 to Blacksburg this fall.”

The university also reported Early Decision applicants jumped by 20 percent for 2022.

There have been many changes to the admissions process, including two shared application platforms: the Coalition and the Common Application. The university also simplified the fee waiver application process and allowed students to self-report their academic records.