During the 1991-92 tertiary admissions period, 65,000 applications for Queensland higher education places were processed by the Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC). Of the 38, 623 applicants who were successful in gaining an offer of enrolment, 6,482 rejected the offer and another 1,961 accepted the offer but failed to enrol. In effect, one in every five offers of a higher education place in a Queensland university or college of technical and further education (TAFE) was rejected at a time when the nation is experiencing an escalating demand for higher education and the Federal Government is seeking to address its unprecedented youth unemployment dilemma through the provision of extra places in universities and TAFE colleges. This paper explores the pattern of rejection across various fields and levels of study offered in Queensland higher education institutions. It also discusses research initiated by the Queensland Tertiary Entrance Procedures Authority (TEPA) to determine the factors effecting the high rejection rate for associate diploma courses offered through Queensland TAFE colleges.