Hundreds of college places are still available for students, the Education Secretary has insisted.
Mike Russell said that funding of £546 million for this year meant the number of college places would remain the same as last year. It takes the total amount of cash that will be invested in the sector between 2007 - the year the SNP came to power - and 2015 to almost £5 billion.
For the 2012-13 academic year, there will be the equivalent of 116,000 full-time places - although when part-time students are included the actual number of people studying at colleges will be higher than this.
Mr Russell said: "Thousands of young people have taken up a college place or are in the process of doing so. Furthermore, there are still hundreds of places available for our talented and motivated young people to take up. Despite our budget being significantly cut by the UK Government, we are investing in the future of our young people."
A snapshot survey by The Herald newspaper reported there were at least 10,000 people on waiting lists for courses at colleges across the country.
But Labour education spokesman Hugh Henry hit out: "The SNP's decision to target our colleges for cuts has slammed the door shut on at least 10,000 Scots. With nearly 100,000 young people unemployed and many older people being forced to re-train for new jobs, we need to see serious investment in our colleges to meet the growing demand."
But Mr Russell said planned spending on colleges between 2007-8 and 2014-15 was 40% more than in the two previous Labour-Liberal Democrat executives. Planned spending on the college sector will total £4.767 billion over the two SNP terms in power, according to Scottish Government figures.
The Education Secretary said: "The Scottish Government's funding for further education in this country since 2007 will reach £5 billion by 2015, 40% more in cash terms than the investment made under the two terms of the previous administration."
Liberal Democrat education spokesman Liam McArthur described the number of would-be students who could be denied access to places as "alarming".
He added: "College principals confirm SNP ministerial guarantees that college places will be maintained are not being honoured. Both of these issues must be addressed in the upcoming Budget Bill."