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COLLEGE SAVINGS 101

2010 plan performance rankings Q4

Each quarter Savingforcollege.com analyzes the investment performance figures for thousands of 529 portfolios and ranks the 529 savings plans from best to worst for one-year investment performance, three-year investment performance and five-year investment performance.

The top-performing 529 plans

In producing our rankings, we compared the reported investment performance of a subset of portfolios from each 529 savings plan. The lower the "percentile," the better the ranking. For more details on our methodology.

Here are our 529 performance rankings as of December 31, 2010.

We ranked plans that consumers can enroll in directly (see below), as well as those sold through brokers).

One-year performance ranking

Rank State Plan Percentile
1 Louisiana START Saving Program 23.08
2 Alaska University of Alaska College Savings Plan 27.95
3 Alaska T. Rowe Price College Savings Plan 29.55
4 Michigan Michigan Education Savings Program 30.15
5 Virginia Virginia Education Savings Trust (VEST) 31.19
6 South Dakota CollegeAccess 529 (Direct-sold) 31.70
7 Nevada USAA 529 College Savings Plan 32.81
8 North Carolina National College Savings Program 33.28
9 West Virginia SMART529 Select 33.61
10 Utah Utah Educational Savings Plan (UESP) Trust 37.06

See the full list of one-year direct-sold rankings.

Three-year performance ranking

Rank State Plan Percentile
1 Nevada USAA 529 College Savings Plan 7.27
2 Kansas Schwab 529 College Savings Plan 21.27
3 Florida Florida College Investment Plan 26.42
4 Wisconsin EdVest (Direct-sold) 31.89
5 Michigan Michigan Education Savings Program 32.60
6 West Virginia SMART529 Select 34.66
7 Nevada The Vanguard 529 Savings Plan 35.68
8 Utah Utah Educational Savings Plan (UESP) Trust 35.70
9 South Carolina Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold) 36.45
10 Maryland College Savings Plans of Maryland -- College Investment Plan 36.61

See the full list of three-year direct-sold rankings.

Five-year performance ranking

Rank State Plan Percentile
1 Nevada USAA 529 College Savings Plan 18.17
2 Kansas Schwab 529 College Savings Plan 26.46
3 Michigan Michigan Education Savings Program 29.59
4 Louisiana START Saving Program 29.63
5 Alaska University of Alaska College Savings Plan 35.60
6 Virginia Virginia Education Savings Trust (VEST) 35.85
7 Maryland College Savings Plans of Maryland -- College Investment Plan 36.11
8 South Carolina Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold) 36.98
9 Alaska T. Rowe Price College Savings Plan 37.45
10 Wisconsin EdVest (Direct-sold) 37.48

See the full list of five-year direct-sold rankings.

For broker-sold plan rankings.

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