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COLLEGE SAVINGS 101

2013 one-year top performing direct plans Q4

2013 one-year top performing direct plans Q4

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, 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 December 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 District of Columbia DC 529 College Savings Program (Direct-sold) 20.39
2 New Jersey NJBEST 529 College Savings Plan 23.92
3 Utah Utah Educational Savings Plan (UESP) Trust 31.34
4 Maryland College Savings Plans of Maryland -- College Investment Plan 33.90
5 West Virginia SMART529 WV Direct 34.11
6 Alaska University of Alaska College Savings Plan 34.32
7 Maine NextGen College Investing Plan -- Client Direct Series 34.39
8 West Virginia SMART529 Select 34.67
9 New York New York's 529 College Savings Program -- Direct Plan 36.06
10 California The ScholarShare College Savings Plan 36.19
11 Alaska T. Rowe Price College Savings Plan 37.43
12 Florida Florida 529 Savings Plan 38.70
13 Illinois Bright Start College Savings Program -- Direct-sold Plan 40.87
14 New Mexico The Education Plan's College Savings Program (Direct-sold) 43.04
15 Kansas Schwab 529 College Savings Plan 45.99
16 Tennessee TNStars College Savings 529 Program 46.06
17 Indiana CollegeChoice 529 Investment Plan (Direct-sold) 47.81
18 Oklahoma Oklahoma College Savings Plan 48.08
19 Kansas Learning Quest 529 Education Savings Program (Direct-sold) 48.22
20 Wisconsin Edvest College Savings Plan 48.88
21 Ohio Ohio CollegeAdvantage 529 Savings Plan 49.55
22 Hawaii Hawaii's College Savings Program 49.66
23 South Carolina Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold) 50.11
24 Colorado Direct Portfolio College Savings Plan 51.63
25 Georgia Path2College 529 Plan 52.08
26 Nevada The Vanguard 529 Savings Plan 53.63
27 Nebraska Nebraska Education Savings Trust - Direct College Savings Plan 53.85
28 Nebraska TD Ameritrade 529 College Savings Plan 55.63
29 Louisiana START Saving Program 56.60
30 Rhode Island CollegeBoundfund (Direct-sold, Alternative RI) 58.79
31 Michigan Michigan Education Savings Program 59.16
32 Oregon Oregon College Savings Plan 60.04
33 North Carolina National College Savings Program 60.11
34 Iowa College Savings Iowa 60.38
35 Missouri MOST - Missouri's 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold) 60.48
36 Montana Montana Family Education Savings Program Investment Plan 61.29
37 Arizona Fidelity Arizona College Savings Plan 61.80
38 Delaware Delaware College Investment Plan 61.85
39 Nevada USAA 529 College Savings Plan 62.23
40 New Hampshire UNIQUE College Investing Plan 62.24
41 Massachusetts U.Fund College Investing Plan 62.39
42 Pennsylvania Pennsylvania 529 Investment Plan 62.52
43 Kentucky Kentucky Education Savings Plan Trust 63.00
44 Nevada SSgA Upromise College Fund 64.09
45 Texas Texas College Savings Plan 64.15
46 Idaho Idaho College Savings Program (IDeal) 64.33
47 Arkansas GIFT College Investing Plan 64.36
48 South Dakota CollegeAccess 529 (Direct-sold) 64.42
49 Virginia Virginia529 inVEST 64.49
50 Vermont Vermont Higher Education Investment Plan 65.57
51 Mississippi Mississippi Affordable College Savings (MACS) Program 67.08
52 Connecticut Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET) 67.39
53 North Dakota College SAVE 68.22
54 Minnesota Minnesota College Savings Plan 68.86
55 Alabama College Counts 529 Fund (Direct-sold) 72.34

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 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: 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.

Posted: 2014-02-12