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COLLEGE SAVINGS 101

2014 one-year top performing direct plans Q1

Posted: 2014-05-16

2014 one-year top performing direct plans Q1

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 March 31, 2014 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 New Jersey NJBEST 529 College Savings Plan 18.50
2 District of Columbia DC 529 College Savings Program (Direct-sold) 21.86
3 California The ScholarShare College Savings Plan 31.75
4 Florida Florida 529 Savings Plan 32.23
5 Maine NextGen College Investing Plan -- Client Direct Series 34.00
6 Alaska University of Alaska College Savings Plan 35.07
7 West Virginia SMART529 WV Direct 35.82
8 New York New York's 529 College Savings Program -- Direct Plan 36.14
9 Alaska T. Rowe Price College Savings Plan 37.96
10 Utah Utah Educational Savings Plan (UESP) Trust 38.13
11 West Virginia SMART529 Select 39.54
12 Maryland College Savings Plans of Maryland -- College Investment Plan 40.54
13 Illinois Bright Start College Savings Program -- Direct-sold Plan 41.83
14 Tennessee TNStars College Savings 529 Program 42.01
15 New Mexico The Education Plan's College Savings Program (Direct-sold) 42.72
16 Oklahoma Oklahoma College Savings Plan 43.93
17 Wisconsin Edvest College Savings Plan 44.37
18 Kansas Learning Quest 529 Education Savings Program (Direct-sold) 47.00
19 Kansas Schwab 529 College Savings Plan 48.54
20 Ohio Ohio CollegeAdvantage 529 Savings Plan 48.60
21 Louisiana START Saving Program 48.77
22 Nevada The Vanguard 529 Savings Plan 48.82
23 Georgia Path2College 529 Plan 49.11
24 Indiana CollegeChoice 529 Investment Plan (Direct-sold) 49.45
25 Colorado Direct Portfolio College Savings Plan 49.53
26 Hawaii Hawaii's College Savings Program 49.70
27 Nebraska Nebraska Education Savings Trust - Direct College Savings Plan 52.40
28 South Carolina Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold) 54.28
29 Iowa College Savings Iowa 54.55
30 Michigan Michigan Education Savings Program 54.59
31 Nebraska TD Ameritrade 529 College Savings Plan 55.45
32 Nevada USAA 529 College Savings Plan 55.51
33 North Carolina National College Savings Program 56.18
34 Missouri MOST - Missouri's 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold) 56.94
35 Rhode Island CollegeBoundfund (Direct-sold, Alternative RI) 58.59
36 Virginia Virginia529 inVEST 58.67
37 Oregon Oregon College Savings Plan 58.94
38 Pennsylvania Pennsylvania 529 Investment Plan 59.00
39 Montana Montana Family Education Savings Program Investment Plan 61.01
40 Delaware Delaware College Investment Plan 61.59
41 Massachusetts U.Fund College Investing Plan 61.75
42 New Hampshire UNIQUE College Investing Plan 61.80
43 Idaho Idaho College Savings Program (IDeal) 61.91
44 Arizona Fidelity Arizona College Savings Plan 61.98
45 Mississippi Mississippi Affordable College Savings (MACS) Program 62.75
46 Vermont Vermont Higher Education Investment Plan 62.96
47 Arkansas GIFT College Investing Plan 63.44
48 Kentucky Kentucky Education Savings Plan Trust 63.61
49 Connecticut Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET) 63.94
50 Nevada SSgA Upromise College Fund 64.55
51 North Dakota College SAVE 66.05
52 Texas Texas College Savings Plan 67.24
53 Minnesota Minnesota College Savings Plan 68.13
54 South Dakota CollegeAccess 529 (Direct-sold) 68.98
55 Alabama College Counts 529 Fund (Direct-sold) 72.76

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.

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