Initial tuition fee packages for 2012 are suggesting a minor reduction in the average cost of going to university.
The Office for Fair Access has approved about a fifth of the total universities' proposals before the official deadline.
Fees have been cut in 11 institutions and fee waivers have been increased, but bursaries and scholarships are down.
The shift is being used by both the government and unions opposing the tuition fee policy to justify their points.
More universities than expected initially announced they would charge the maximum £9,000 for annual tuition fees.