As of midnight on Thursday, 401,540 applicants had been accepted by UK universities and colleges - a 9% rise on 2012, Ucas said.
The admissions service said this is also higher than the number of students who had secured their place at this point in 2011 - the year before tuition fees were tripled to £9,000.
The latest figures show that fewer students are entering clearing, with 153,070 entering the process, almost 9,000 fewer than last year.
The statistics come the day after students across England, Wales and Northern Ireland received their A-level results.
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