Northern Ireland's colleges have said they are expecting a "huge surge in demand" for higher education places.
Last week, Queen's University and the University of Ulster reported rises of nine and 10% on applications from A-level students.
Colleges Northern Ireland represents the region's six further education colleges.
It said colleges were braced for a sudden rise in calls from students unable to enter university.
Colleges Northern Ireland chief executive John D'Arcy said:"Media reports suggest that our local universities will be turning away thousands of disappointed students.
Report also suggest that there will be far fewer places available through the clearing process meaning there will be fewer places across the UK for Northern Ireland students."
Queen's University reported 20,645 applicants for 3,478 places, an increase of 9% on last year.
The University of Ulster has had 32,879 applications for 4,900 places, an increase of 10.2% on last year.
A-level students in Northern Ireland are due to get their results on Thursday (19 August).
The universities have told they must stick to a limit on the number of students they can accept.
Last year, the University of Ulster took in 699 more than its quota and had to pay a penalty of £1,000 per extra student.