(WHTM)– Since Pennsylvania State Police dropped its college degree requirement for the academy just days ago they have had hundreds of applicants.

State Police say there have been nearly 300 applicants, around 130 would not have met the college requirement.

State Police say this is a significant increase since the last application cycle, there were less than 900 people who even took the introductory exam.

“Policing is noble profession, and this is the finest law enforcement agency in the nation. We need to show those who want to serve that this door of opportunity is open – and we want you on our team,” said Governor Josh Shapiro. “Our State Police Academy trains highly capable public servants who work hard to make our communities safer. Our Administration has worked to emphasize skills and experience in Commonwealth hiring practices, and now the PSP have dropped the college credit requirement for state troopers to empower those who want to serve their community and open even more doors for Pennsylvanians to chart their own course and succeed.”

Candidates must have a high school diploma or a GED certificate, as well as a valid driver’s license from any state. They must be 20 at the time of applying and between the ages of 21-40 upon entry into the training academy.

You must also be a Pennsylvania resident and have a Pennsylvania driver’s license at the time of graduation.

“Filling the ranks of the Pennsylvania State Police with women and men dedicated to serving the people of Pennsylvania is of utmost importance,” said Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Colonel Christopher Paris. “The elimination of the college credit requirement will open the door to a rewarding career for many who would make exemplary troopers but would not have otherwise had the opportunity.”