Like customer satisfaction, student satisfaction is a critical factor to the success of higher education institutions. Thus, understanding the value proposition of students through the service quality and tuition is necessary. The purpose of this study is three folds. First, it empirically examines how the student's perception of tuition impacts the service quality of higher education institutions and their satisfaction. Second, it investigates the influence of service quality of the institutions on their student satisfaction. Finally, it compares public universities and non-public universities on these relationships. An analysis of 612 students in four universities in Vietnam (two public and two non-public) using structural equation modeling has provided some significant results. It appears student satisfaction can be predicted by both institutional service quality and student's perception of tuition. In addition, their perception of tuition has a direct impact on their satisfaction as well as an indirect influence through institutional service quality. Finally, there is a stronger impact of the student's perception of tuition and institutional service quality on their satisfaction in non-public universities than in public universities.
higher education, non-public universities, perceived tuition, public universities, student satisfaction, service quality, Vietnam