(CALMATTERS) – More Black Californians are graduating from college in the wake of key legislative and educational reforms, even as significant disparities in Black and white graduation rates persist, according to a Tuesday report from the nonpartisan research center Campaign for College Opportunity. For example, Black CSU students’ four-year graduation rate doubled over the past decade to reach 20%, even as the gap in Black and white CSU students’ graduation rates grew to 25%, the report found.

One reform that helped put Black students on a faster graduation path was a 2017 law that largely allowed community college students to take transfer-level classes without first taking remedial courses — even though tens of thousands of students are still taking unnecessary remedial classes, CalMatters’ Mikhail Zinshteyn found.

Other key findings from the report:

  • The number of Black applicants to the UC system shot up 20% after the Board of Regents eliminated the use of the SAT and ACT in admissions. UCLA and UC Berkeley saw a 50% spike.
  • More than 50% of Black students entering UC since 2012 have graduated in four years or less, though there’s a 20% gap in Black and white students’ UC graduation rates.
  • 26% of Black Californians have a bachelor’s degree — a number researchers want to see reach 60% by 2030.