529 Plan Details:

Enter your state:

World's Simplest College Calculator:

How old is your child?

Find a 529 Pro:

Enter your zip code:

Enroll In a 529 Plan:

View a list of participating plans



2012 one-year top performing direct plans Q1

Posted: 2012-05-10 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.

Here are our 529 performance rankings as of March 31, 2012 for Direct-sold 529 plans.

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

Rank State Plan Percentile
1 New York New York's 529 College Savings Program -- Direct Plan 23.61
2 Pennsylvania Pennsylvania 529 Investment Plan 25.08
3 Utah Utah Educational Savings Plan (UESP) Trust 26.11
4 Michigan Michigan Education Savings Program 27.14
5 Illinois Bright Start College Savings Program -- Direct-sold Plan 29.10
6 Iowa College Savings Iowa 30.22
7 Vermont Vermont Higher Education Investment Plan 31.46
8 New Mexico The Education Plan's College Savings Program (Direct-sold) 31.49
9 Oklahoma Oklahoma College Savings Plan 32.38
10 Georgia Path2College 529 Plan 32.86
11 Minnesota Minnesota College Savings Plan 32.99
12 Colorado Direct Portfolio College Savings Plan 33.89
13 Hawaii Hawaii's College Savings Program 34.30
14 Kentucky Kentucky Education Savings Plan Trust 34.31
15 Alabama College Counts 529 Fund (Direct-sold) 34.58
16 District of Columbia DC 529 College Savings Program (Direct-sold) 34.72
17 Nevada The Vanguard 529 Savings Plan 38.19
18 Alaska University of Alaska College Savings Plan 38.50
19 Oregon Oregon College Savings Plan 39.52
20 Missouri MOST - Missouri's 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold) 40.26
21 Alaska T. Rowe Price College Savings Plan 40.38
22 Indiana CollegeChoice 529 Investment Plan (Direct-sold) 41.25
23 Kansas Learning Quest 529 Education Savings Program (Direct-sold) 41.83
24 Texas Texas College Savings Plan 42.08
25 Maine NextGen College Investing Plan -- Client Direct Series 42.14
26 North Dakota College SAVE 45.61
27 Wisconsin EdVest (Direct-sold) 46.37
28 Arkansas GIFT College Investing Plan 48.74
29 Idaho Idaho College Savings Program (IDeal) 49.34
30 Maryland College Savings Plans of Maryland -- College Investment Plan 49.58
31 Ohio Ohio CollegeAdvantage 529 Savings Plan 49.64
32 South Carolina Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold) 50.49
33 Nebraska Nebraska Education Savings Trust - Direct College Savings Plan 54.23
34 Nebraska TD Ameritrade 529 College Savings Plan 56.68
35 Connecticut Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET) 57.12
36 Virginia Virginia Education Savings Trust (VEST) 57.15
37 West Virginia SMART529 WV Direct 58.31
38 Louisiana START Saving Program 62.92
39 Kansas Schwab 529 College Savings Plan 63.18
40 Massachusetts U.Fund College Investing Plan 63.22
41 Arizona Fidelity Arizona College Savings Plan 63.39
42 Delaware Delaware College Investment Plan 63.41
43 New Hampshire UNIQUE College Investing Plan 63.55
44 New Jersey NJBEST 529 College Savings Plan 64.18
45 Rhode Island CollegeBoundfund (Direct-sold, Alternative RI) 66.42
46 South Dakota CollegeAccess 529 (Direct-sold) 70.57
47 Nevada USAA 529 College Savings Plan 73.17
48 Montana Montana Family Education Savings Program Investment Plan 76.26
49 West Virginia SMART529 Select 79.50
- California The ScholarShare College Savings Plan NA
- Florida Florida College Investment Plan NA
- Mississippi Mississippi Affordable College Savings (MACS) Program NA
- Nevada SSgA Upromise College Fund NA
- North Carolina National College Savings Program NA

NA = Not Applicable = Program does not have at least one portfolio with sufficiently-long performance in a minimum of four asset allocation categories under our ranking model.

The 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: JFH Innovative, LLC 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.

More Featured Articles