Some 9.5 million people will take the annual national college entrance exams slated for June 7 and 8, an increase of 10 percent from last year, according to reports with the Ministry of Education.
Lin Huiqing, the ministry's senior official in charge of students for higher-learning institutions, said that universities and colleges in China will enroll 2.6 million undergraduates this year.
"Only one in every four test-takers will be eligible for university enrollment." Lin said.
Passing the college entrance exams is the only way China's youth can gain access to higher education.
While the number of university applicants continues to soar, the growth rate of enrollments is on the decline as universities are expected to receive an additional five percent more students this year.
China's State Council, or the central government, ordered universities to focus on improving teaching standards rather than increasing the number of students in May.
Education experts believe the decision indicates an end to the rapid growth of China's universities over the last seven years. Many experts, students and parents believe the rapid expansion of enrollment had led to a decline in teaching quality and conditions in the country's universities.