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2013 one-year top performing direct plans Q1

Posted: 2013-05-15 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, five-year and ten-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, 2013 for Direct-sold 529 plans.

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

Rank State Plan Percentile
1 South Dakota CollegeAccess 529 (Direct-sold) 15.04
2 California The ScholarShare College Savings Plan 29.05
3 Michigan Michigan Education Savings Program 32.04
4 New York New York's 529 College Savings Program -- Direct Plan 35.20
5 District of Columbia DC 529 College Savings Program (Direct-sold) 35.38
6 Virginia Virginia529 inVEST 38.19
7 Ohio Ohio CollegeAdvantage 529 Savings Plan 39.36
8 West Virginia SMART529 Select 40.12
9 Alaska University of Alaska College Savings Plan 41.12
10 Utah Utah Educational Savings Plan (UESP) Trust 42.27
11 Oklahoma Oklahoma College Savings Plan 42.52
12 Alaska T. Rowe Price College Savings Plan 42.69
13 West Virginia SMART529 WV Direct 43.20
14 Maine NextGen College Investing Plan -- Client Direct Series 44.10
15 Louisiana START Saving Program 44.71
16 Nevada The Vanguard 529 Savings Plan 47.00
17 Colorado Direct Portfolio College Savings Plan 47.42
18 South Carolina Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold) 47.92
19 Alabama College Counts 529 Fund (Direct-sold) 48.05
20 Hawaii Hawaii's College Savings Program 48.18
21 New Mexico The Education Plan's College Savings Program (Direct-sold) 48.23
22 Indiana CollegeChoice 529 Investment Plan (Direct-sold) 48.72
23 Connecticut Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET) 49.32
24 Kentucky Kentucky Education Savings Plan Trust 50.32
25 Minnesota Minnesota College Savings Plan 50.32
26 Vermont Vermont Higher Education Investment Plan 51.83
27 Missouri MOST - Missouri's 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold) 52.09
28 Florida Florida 529 Savings Plan 52.18
29 Maryland College Savings Plans of Maryland -- College Investment Plan 52.74
30 North Carolina National College Savings Program 52.91
31 Oregon Oregon College Savings Plan 53.13
32 Iowa College Savings Iowa 53.14
33 Pennsylvania Pennsylvania 529 Investment Plan 53.33
34 Kansas Schwab 529 College Savings Plan 53.64
35 Texas Texas College Savings Plan 55.16
36 Nevada USAA 529 College Savings Plan 56.26
37 Illinois Bright Start College Savings Program -- Direct-sold Plan 56.59
38 Idaho Idaho College Savings Program (IDeal) 58.66
39 Arkansas GIFT College Investing Plan 60.38
40 North Dakota College SAVE 61.80
41 Kansas Learning Quest 529 Education Savings Program (Direct-sold) 62.57
42 Nebraska Nebraska Education Savings Trust - Direct College Savings Plan 63.27
43 Nebraska TD Ameritrade 529 College Savings Plan 63.70
44 Montana Montana Family Education Savings Program Investment Plan 63.90
45 Delaware Delaware College Investment Plan 65.35
46 New Jersey NJBEST 529 College Savings Plan 65.70
47 Arizona Fidelity Arizona College Savings Plan 65.74
48 Massachusetts U.Fund College Investing Plan 66.21
49 New Hampshire UNIQUE College Investing Plan 66.44
50 Rhode Island CollegeBoundfund (Direct-sold, Alternative RI) 69.80
- Georgia Path2College 529 Plan NA
- Mississippi Mississippi Affordable College Savings (MACS) Program NA
- Nevada SSgA Upromise College Fund NA
- Tennessee TNStars College Savings 529 Program NA
- Wisconsin Edvest College Savings Plan 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: Saving For College, 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.

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