Non-profit group World Education Services has found that while 60% of Chinese students surveyed said they could pay for their studies overseas, only 27% of Indian respondents said they could.
The higher socio-economic status of potential Chinese students was also apparent in the fact that one in four had been abroad in the past, compared with one in 10 Indian students.
Conducted between October 2011 and March 2012, the study surveyed 1,600 potential international students, including 282 from India and 239 from China.
"Given the single-child policy in China, many families concentrate their resources on the advancement of their child through foreign education," says Rahul Choudaha, director of research and advisory services at the group.
"By contrast, Indian students have to share their resources with siblings and look for alternative sources of funding such as loans."