No, you're not being thick- I'm just not making much sense.
Basically, for the arts, where the fees are low- it doesn't make a huge difference, even with this pressure to sell degrees. Move across to the MBAs which are normally full and cost four times that, and international students 100% have had to prove their financial viability before the offer is even made. I know its also happened at least once on the MLitt in War Studies, which leads me to think it can happen again.
The point is more a hypothetical one- if University (lets call them a Bank) had two students (customers) one who was a 2:1 (salaried worker) and one with a 1st (rocket scientist). The former is your steady income supply, can pay for the course (mortgage repayment) and the other is out of work, but might somewhere down the line invent something worth millions. What I have been led to believe, is if there was just one person they could pick, it would be the salaried worker, the safer bet. Of course we're on about big courses, research councils and scholarships, with various deadline dates, so it makes life a bit more complex- but the point about the Uni giving more leeway with offers they regard as safe on the funding front is valid- I've heard it from too many people for it not to be.
They'll know themselves that a borderline 2:1 student with mediocre references will probably not get funded, so a tick in the 'self funded, money already provisioned' box, is useful in obtaining an offer. The better students will probably still not struggle to get a conditional, but I'd be very interested to see in one of the courses that research council funding is not an option (the MBA) what would happen if they managed to receive enough applications to fill the course with people who could prove funding outright without needing to go to a bank. From my knowledge of staff here, I think I know what Glasgow would do when it came to making offers, and it ain't the one which goes on academic ability first...
Really, what I've been trying to say, is:
(Original post by IlexAquifolium)
Then again, I can't imagine many people tick the 'no, definitely don't consider me for any money, I've got 30k tucked under the sofa...' box when they've got little to lose by having a shot. So I would have thought that those intending to definitely self-fund with no backup option would have to be fairly confident in their ability to cough up. Extrapolating somewhat, but I can see why a university would consider the avowed self-funders a sufficiently safe bet to edge out marginal candidates seeking funding.