Universities are worried that careers advice is being withdrawn from students interested in higher education and targeted instead at lower achievers, writes Alison Goddard.
The trend has been noted by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service.
"We are receiving a growing number of calls to our applications helpline about how to choose a course, and higher education issues in general," said a spokesman for UCAS.
Anne Richards, head of admissions at the University of Central Lancashire, said: "The main concern is that the Department for Education and Employment has given a new set of priorities to careers companies."
Admissions tutors fear some studentswill not apply as they will not realise that they can afford higher education.
Others will drop out because they chose the wrong institutionor course, or failed to make financial preparations.