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COLLEGE SAVINGS 101

2010 one-year top performing direct plans Q2

Savingforcollege.com ranks the performance of direct-sold 529 plans. Direct-sold plans are those that consumers can enroll in without using a broker. We have prepared one-year, three-year and five-year performance tables.

To prepare this ranking, we compared a subset of portfolios from each 529 savings plan. We selected portfolios based on their mix of stocks, bonds and money market funds, which allows for an apples-to-apples comparison in seven asset-allocation categories. The lower the "percentile," the better the ranking.

This ranking could be a useful tool for you when selecting which direct 529 plan might be right for you.

529 performance rankings as of June 30, 2010.
Direct-sold 529 plans.

Updated September 1, 2010

One-year performance ranking (click here for three-year performance table and five-year performance table):

Rank State Plan Percentile
1 Nevada The USAA 529 College Savings Plan 0.49
2 Montana Pacific Life Funds 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold) MT 27.83
3 Virginia Virginia Education Savings Trust (VEST) 28.94
4 Alaska T. Rowe Price College Savings Plan 30.11
5 Alaska University of Alaska College Savings Plan 30.59
6 Michigan Michigan Education Savings Program 30.77
7 Vermont Vermont Higher Education Investment Plan 32.44
8 Louisiana START Saving Program 32.71
9 Maryland College Savings Plans of Maryland -- College Investment Plan 38.47
10 Minnesota Minnesota College Savings Plan 39.64
11 Oklahoma Oklahoma College Savings Plan 40.14
12 New York New York's 529 College Savings Program - Direct Plan 40.88
13 District of Columbia DC 529 College Savings Program (Direct-sold) 43.94
14 Kansas Schwab 529 College Savings Plan 44.39
15 Mississippi Mississippi Affordable College Savings (MACS) Program 44.52
16 Rhode Island CollegeBoundfund (Direct-sold, Alternative R) 44.95
17 Utah Utah Educational Savings Plan (UESP) Trust 45.50
18 South Dakota CollegeAccess 529 (Direct-sold) 46.57
19 Maine NextGen College Investing Plan -- Client Direct Series 46.74
20 North Carolina National College Savings Program 47.16
21 Wisconsin EdVest (Direct-sold) 48.68
22 Connecticut Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET) 48.96
23 New Jersey NJBEST 529 College Savings Plan 50.03
24 Nevada The Vanguard 529 Savings Plan 50.13
25 Kentucky Kentucky Education Savings Plan Trust 50.67
26 Nebraska College Savings Plan of Nebraska (Direct-sold) 50.71
27 Georgia Path2College 529 Plan 50.99
28 Pennsylvania Pennsylvania 529 Investment Plan 53.75
29 West Virginia SMART529 WV Direct 54.85
30 Nebraska TD Ameritrade 529 College Savings Plan 55.15
31 Nevada The Upromise College Fund 55.91
32 West Virginia SMART529 Select 56.23
33 Colorado Direct Portfolio College Savings Plan 56.25
34 South Carolina Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold) 57.56
35 Ohio Ohio CollegeAdvantage 529 Savings Plan 58.00
36 Arizona Fidelity Arizona College Savings Plan 58.81
37 New Hampshire UNIQUE College Investing Plan 59.78
38 Delaware Delaware College Investment Plan 60.02
39 California The ScholarShare College Savings Plan 60.12
40 Massachusetts U.Fund College Investing Plan 61.38
41 Hawaii Hawaii's College Savings Program 62.04
42 Iowa College Savings Iowa 62.40
43 Arkansas GIFT College Investing Plan 62.78
44 Idaho Idaho College Savings Program (IDeal) 62.97
45 Missouri MOST - Missouri's 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold) 65.19
46 North Dakota College SAVE 65.43
47 Kansas Learning Quest 529 Education Savings Program (Direct-sold) 65.70
48 Indiana CollegeChoice 529 Investment Plan (Direct-sold) 68.99
49 Illinois Bright Start College Savings Program -- Direct-sold Plan 69.93
50 New Mexico The Education Plan's College Savings Program (Direct-sold) 82.89
51 Texas Texas College Savings Plan 89.96
- Alabama College Counts 529 Fund NA
- Florida Florida College Investment Plan NA
- Oregon Oregon College Savings Plan NA

NA = Not applicable = Program does not have at least three portfolios with sufficiently long performance under our ranking model.

The Savingforcollege.com plan composite rankings are derived using the plans' relevant portfolio performance in seven unique asset allocation categories. The asset-allocation categories used are: 100 percent equity, 80 percent equity, 60 percent equity, 40 percent equity, 20 percent equity, 100 percent fixed and 100 percent short term. The plan composite ranking is determined by the average of its percentile ranking in the seven categories.

The performance data underlying these rankings represent past performance and are not a guarantee of future performance. Current performance may be lower or higher than the performance data used. A plan portfolio's investment return and principal value will fluctuate so that an investor's shares or units when redeemed may be worth more or less than their original cost. Investors should carefully consider plan investment goals, risks, charges and expenses by obtaining and reading the plan's official program description before investing. Investors should also consider whether their beneficiary's home state offers any tax or other benefits that are available for investments only in such state's 529 plan.

Brokers, please note: For internal use only and not for use with or to be shown to the investing public.

Disclaimer: Bankrate, Inc. shall not be liable for any errors or omissions in this report. Users should rely on official program disclosures.

For broker-sold plan rankings, click here.

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