Tens of thousands of students are still waiting to hear if they have secured a university place, new figures show.
Around 28,000 fewer students have had their places confirmed compared with the same point last year, according to the latest Ucas figures.
The update comes the day after students across England, Wales and Northern Ireland received their A-level results.
It reveals that 70,591 people are still waiting on decisions, up by just 96 from this point last year.
Some 379,635 people have been accepted on to courses, a drop of 7% from the same stage in 2011.
And 9,084 students have gained places through clearing - the process that matches students who are not holding offers, or who have missed their grades, to vacant courses.
Concerns have been raised this year that changes to the admissions system could leave bright students chasing for spare places.
Under a new admissions system, there is now no limit on the number of students with two As and a B at A-level that universities can recruit.
But it means universities are likely to have less flexibility to admit students who just miss this standard as there is still a strict cap on those who score less than AAB.
Mary Curnock Cook, Ucas chief executive, said: "The combination of fewer applicants and the lifting of number controls for higher achieving candidates means there are many more courses with vacancies in clearing this year. We expect the overall acceptance rate for applicants to rise."