In 1987 a collaborative nurse practitioner program was developed and implemented by George Mason University, a public institution, and The George Washington University, a private institution. Three economic factors affecting decisions related to the development of the collaborative program are discussed: (1) optimal use of resources, (2) consumer and institutional utility, and (3) demand for the program. Optimal use of resources was based on collaboration in the areas of faculty and administrative resources and existing curriculum, thereby reducing the cost burden at each institution. From the perspective of consumer and institutional utility, the program was structured financially to enhance the well-being of students and both institutions. Finally, the consumer demand for the program was addressed by maintaining the higher proportion of credits at the lower-cost institution, thus enabling more students to afford the program. The success of the institutions in addressing the economic factors noted above can serve as a paradigm for program development in other universities and graduate programs. © 1993.