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COLLEGE SAVINGS 101

2014 five-year top performing direct plans Q1

Posted: 2014-05-16

2014 five-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 both 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.

Five-year performance ranking (click here for one-year performance table and three-year performance table, and ten-year performance table):

Rank State Plan Percentile
1 Nevada USAA 529 College Savings Plan 22.26
2 Alaska T. Rowe Price College Savings Plan 22.57
3 Alaska University of Alaska College Savings Plan 22.80
4 Maine NextGen College Investing Plan -- Client Direct Series 24.79
5 Maryland College Savings Plans of Maryland -- College Investment Plan 29.70
6 New York New York's 529 College Savings Program -- Direct Plan 37.10
7 District of Columbia DC 529 College Savings Program (Direct-sold) 38.12
8 South Carolina Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold) 39.02
9 Utah Utah Educational Savings Plan (UESP) Trust 40.99
10 Virginia Virginia529 inVEST 41.41
11 Michigan Michigan Education Savings Program 42.85
12 South Dakota CollegeAccess 529 (Direct-sold) 44.98
13 Louisiana START Saving Program 46.02
14 West Virginia SMART529 WV Direct 46.50
15 Oklahoma Oklahoma College Savings Plan 47.75
16 West Virginia SMART529 Select 50.36
17 Nevada The Vanguard 529 Savings Plan 50.44
18 Florida Florida 529 Savings Plan 50.95
19 Colorado Direct Portfolio College Savings Plan 51.05
20 Illinois Bright Start College Savings Program -- Direct-sold Plan 51.65
21 Ohio Ohio CollegeAdvantage 529 Savings Plan 52.20
22 New Mexico The Education Plan's College Savings Program (Direct-sold) 52.62
23 Kansas Schwab 529 College Savings Plan 53.20
24 Rhode Island CollegeBoundfund (Direct-sold, Alternative RI) 53.32
25 Indiana CollegeChoice 529 Investment Plan (Direct-sold) 53.41
26 Hawaii Hawaii's College Savings Program 53.46
27 New Jersey NJBEST 529 College Savings Plan 54.16
28 Pennsylvania Pennsylvania 529 Investment Plan 54.85
29 Iowa College Savings Iowa 56.53
30 Minnesota Minnesota College Savings Plan 56.74
31 Arizona Fidelity Arizona College Savings Plan 60.03
32 New Hampshire UNIQUE College Investing Plan 60.08
33 Delaware Delaware College Investment Plan 60.33
34 Massachusetts U.Fund College Investing Plan 60.43
35 Kansas Learning Quest 529 Education Savings Program (Direct-sold) 60.53
36 Kentucky Kentucky Education Savings Plan Trust 60.77
37 Missouri MOST - Missouri's 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold) 61.25
38 Vermont Vermont Higher Education Investment Plan 61.86
39 North Dakota College SAVE 65.14
40 Arkansas GIFT College Investing Plan 65.57
41 Idaho Idaho College Savings Program (IDeal) 66.03
42 Connecticut Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET) 69.27
43 Texas Texas College Savings Plan 69.95
- Alabama College Counts 529 Fund (Direct-sold) NA
- California The ScholarShare College Savings Plan NA
- Georgia Path2College 529 Plan NA
- Nevada SSgA Upromise College Fund NA
- Mississippi Mississippi Affordable College Savings (MACS) Program NA
- Montana Montana Family Education Savings Program Investment Plan NA
- Nebraska Nebraska Education Savings Trust - Direct College Savings Plan NA
- Nebraska TD Ameritrade 529 College Savings Plan NA
- North Carolina National College Savings Program NA
- Oregon Oregon College Savings Plan 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 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.