COLLEGE SAVINGS 101

Savingforcollege.com

2015 plan performance rankings Q4
http://www.savingforcollege.com/articles/2015-plan-performance-rankings-Q4-330

Posted: 2016-02-12

Each quarter Savingforcollege.com analyzes the investment performance figures for thousands of 529 portfolios and ranks the 529 savings plans from best to worst for one-year investment performance, three-year investment performance, five-year investment performance and ten-year investment performance.

The top-performing 529 plans

In producing our rankings, we compared the reported investment performance of a subset of portfolios from each 529 savings plan. The "performance score" determines the ranking. For more details, please view our methodology.

Here are our 529 performance rankings as of December 31, 2015.

We ranked plans that consumers can enroll in directly (see below), as well as those sold through brokers and fee-based financial planners).

One-year performance ranking

Rank State Plan Performance score
1 California The ScholarShare College Savings Plan 21.38 Enroll Now
2 District of Columbia DC 529 College Savings Program (Direct-sold) 22.90 Enroll Now
3 Illinois Bright Start College Savings Program -- Direct-sold Plan 24.37 Enroll Now
4 West Virginia SMART529 WV Direct College Savings Plan 26.26 Plan Details
5 South Carolina Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold) 27.29 Enroll Now
6 Maine NextGen College Investing Plan -- Client Direct Series 28.03 Enroll Now
7 Michigan Michigan Education Savings Program 31.01 Enroll Now
8 Minnesota Minnesota College Savings Plan 33.40 Enroll Now
9 Utah Utah Educational Savings Plan (UESP) 33.58 Plan Details
10 Nebraska Nebraska Education Savings Trust - Direct College Savings Plan 33.98 Enroll Now

See the full list of one-year direct-sold rankings.

Click "Next Page" below to see 3 year rankings.

Each quarter Savingforcollege.com analyzes the investment performance figures for thousands of 529 portfolios and ranks the 529 savings plans from best to worst for one-year investment performance, three-year investment performance, five-year investment performance and ten-year investment performance.

The top-performing 529 plans

In producing our rankings, we compared the reported investment performance of a subset of portfolios from each 529 savings plan. The "performance score" determines the ranking. For more details on our methodology.

Here are our 529 performance rankings as of December 31, 2015.

We ranked plans that consumers can enroll in directly (see below), as well as those sold through brokers and fee-based financial planners).

Three-year performance ranking

Rank State Plan Performance score
1 District of Columbia DC 529 College Savings Program (Direct-sold) 15.20 Enroll Now
2 New York New York's 529 College Savings Program -- Direct Plan 25.00 Enroll Now
3 Maine NextGen College Investing Plan -- Client Direct Series 26.44 Enroll Now
4 California The ScholarShare College Savings Plan 27.06 Enroll Now
5 Tennessee TNStars College Savings 529 Program 27.26 Plan Details
6 Florida Florida 529 Savings Plan 31.15 Plan Details
7 Utah Utah Educational Savings Plan (UESP) 31.83 Plan Details
8 New Jersey NJBEST 529 College Savings Plan 34.95 Enroll Now
9 South Carolina Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold) 35.11 Enroll Now
10 Ohio Ohio CollegeAdvantage Direct 529 Savings Plan 36.12 Enroll Now

See the full list of three-year direct-sold rankings.

Click "Next Page" below to see 5 year rankings.

Each quarter Savingforcollege.com analyzes the investment performance figures for thousands of 529 portfolios and ranks the 529 savings plans from best to worst for one-year investment performance, three-year investment performance, five-year investment performance and ten-year investment performance.

The top-performing 529 plans

In producing our rankings, we compared the reported investment performance of a subset of portfolios from each 529 savings plan. The "performance score" determines the ranking. For more details on our methodology.

Here are our 529 performance rankings as of December 31, 2015.

We ranked plans that consumers can enroll in directly (see below), as well as those sold through brokers and fee-based financial planners).

Five-year performance ranking

Rank State Plan Performance score
1 District of Columbia DC 529 College Savings Program (Direct-sold) 18.42 Enroll Now
2 New York New York's 529 College Savings Program -- Direct Plan 24.99 Enroll Now
3 Maine NextGen College Investing Plan -- Client Direct Series 27.97 Enroll Now
4 Utah Utah Educational Savings Plan (UESP) 30.72 Plan Details
5 Alaska University of Alaska College Savings Plan 30.91 Enroll Now
6 Florida Florida 529 Savings Plan 31.51 Plan Details
7 Illinois Bright Start College Savings Program -- Direct-sold Plan 32.09 Enroll Now
8 Michigan Michigan Education Savings Program 33.85 Enroll Now
9 New Mexico The Education Plan's College Savings Program 34.77 Enroll Now
10 Ohio Ohio CollegeAdvantage Direct 529 Savings Plan 35.62 Enroll Now

See the full list of five-year direct-sold rankings.

Click "Next Page" below to see 10 year rankings.

Each quarter Savingforcollege.com analyzes the investment performance figures for thousands of 529 portfolios and ranks the 529 savings plans from best to worst for one-year investment performance, three-year investment performance, five-year investment performance and ten-year investment performance.

The top-performing 529 plans

In producing our rankings, we compared the reported investment performance of a subset of portfolios from each 529 savings plan. The "performance score" determines the ranking. For more details on our methodology.

Here are our 529 performance rankings as of December 31, 2015.

We ranked plans that consumers can enroll in directly (see below), as well as those sold through brokers and fee-based financial planners).

Ten-year performance ranking

Rank State Plan Performance score
1 Utah Utah Educational Savings Plan (UESP) 23.29 Plan Details
2 Louisiana START Saving Program 28.98 Plan Details
3 New York New York's 529 College Savings Program -- Direct Plan 31.40 Enroll Now
4 Florida Florida 529 Savings Plan 32.76 Plan Details
5 Alaska University of Alaska College Savings Plan 33.49 Enroll Now
6 District of Columbia DC 529 College Savings Program (Direct-sold) 36.35 Enroll Now
7 Ohio Ohio CollegeAdvantage Direct 529 Savings Plan 37.55 Enroll Now
8 Alaska T. Rowe Price College Savings Plan 38.34 Enroll Now
9 South Carolina Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold) 38.62 Enroll Now
10 Iowa College Savings Iowa 39.03 Enroll Now

See the full list of ten-year direct-sold rankings.

For broker-sold plan rankings and fee-based financial planners.

How to rank 529 plan performance

Ranking over 3,000 investment options is no easy task, considering the wide variety of options found in 529 savings plans, and it requires a special methodology.

Step one: We select specific portfolios from each 529 plan that can be compared on an apples-to-apples basis to portfolios in other 529 plans, based on their allocation among stocks, bonds and short-term instruments (money market and guaranteed investments). We've set up seven different asset-allocation categories ranging from 100 percent equity to 100 percent short-term.

Step two: Within each of the seven categories, we compare historical performance of the selected portfolios and assign each plan a percentile ranking between one (best) and 100 (worst). Separate rankings are developed for one-year, three-year, five-year and ten-year performances.

Step three: We take the average of each 529 plan's percentile rankings in the seven asset-allocation categories to produce a combined or "composite" percentile ranking. We then produce reports showing how the 529 plans rank against each other in their composite percentile rankings. Note: We currently produce these composite rankings for one-year, three-year, five-year and ten-year performances.

For a more in-depth explanation of our methodology, please read our white paper.

See the one-year direct-sold, three-year direct-sold, five-year direct-sold and ten-year direct-sold rankings.

More information

Links to our full report on the composite rankings for this quarter are provided below for the direct-sold 529 plans. Only our Premium subscribers have access to composite rankings for advisor-sold 529 plans, to the underlying data supporting the rankings and to separate one-year, three-year, five-year and ten-year rankings for each of the seven different asset-allocation categories. In addition, subscribers can easily look up the historical performance for every 529 portfolio in every available share class by using our Fee and Performance Lookup Tool.

Each quarter Savingforcollege.com analyzes the investment performance figures for thousands of 529 portfolios and ranks the 529 savings plans from best to worst for one-year investment performance, three-year investment performance, five-year investment performance and ten-year investment performance.

The top-performing 529 plans

In producing our rankings, we compared the reported investment performance of a subset of portfolios from each 529 savings plan. The "performance score" determines the ranking. For more details, please view our methodology.

Here are our 529 performance rankings as of December 31, 2015.

We ranked plans that consumers can enroll in directly (see below), as well as those sold through brokers and fee-based financial planners).

One-year performance ranking

Rank State Plan Performance score
1 California The ScholarShare College Savings Plan 21.38 Enroll Now
2 District of Columbia DC 529 College Savings Program (Direct-sold) 22.90 Enroll Now
3 Illinois Bright Start College Savings Program -- Direct-sold Plan 24.37 Enroll Now
4 West Virginia SMART529 WV Direct College Savings Plan 26.26 Plan Details
5 South Carolina Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold) 27.29 Enroll Now
6 Maine NextGen College Investing Plan -- Client Direct Series 28.03 Enroll Now
7 Michigan Michigan Education Savings Program 31.01 Enroll Now
8 Minnesota Minnesota College Savings Plan 33.40 Enroll Now
9 Utah Utah Educational Savings Plan (UESP) 33.58 Plan Details
10 Nebraska Nebraska Education Savings Trust - Direct College Savings Plan 33.98 Enroll Now

See the full list of one-year direct-sold rankings.

Click "Next Page" below to see 3 year rankings.

Each quarter Savingforcollege.com analyzes the investment performance figures for thousands of 529 portfolios and ranks the 529 savings plans from best to worst for one-year investment performance, three-year investment performance, five-year investment performance and ten-year investment performance.

The top-performing 529 plans

In producing our rankings, we compared the reported investment performance of a subset of portfolios from each 529 savings plan. The "performance score" determines the ranking. For more details on our methodology.

Here are our 529 performance rankings as of December 31, 2015.

We ranked plans that consumers can enroll in directly (see below), as well as those sold through brokers and fee-based financial planners).

Three-year performance ranking

Rank State Plan Performance score
1 District of Columbia DC 529 College Savings Program (Direct-sold) 15.20 Enroll Now
2 New York New York's 529 College Savings Program -- Direct Plan 25.00 Enroll Now
3 Maine NextGen College Investing Plan -- Client Direct Series 26.44 Enroll Now
4 California The ScholarShare College Savings Plan 27.06 Enroll Now
5 Tennessee TNStars College Savings 529 Program 27.26 Plan Details
6 Florida Florida 529 Savings Plan 31.15 Plan Details
7 Utah Utah Educational Savings Plan (UESP) 31.83 Plan Details
8 New Jersey NJBEST 529 College Savings Plan 34.95 Enroll Now
9 South Carolina Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold) 35.11 Enroll Now
10 Ohio Ohio CollegeAdvantage Direct 529 Savings Plan 36.12 Enroll Now

See the full list of three-year direct-sold rankings.

Click "Next Page" below to see 5 year rankings.

Each quarter Savingforcollege.com analyzes the investment performance figures for thousands of 529 portfolios and ranks the 529 savings plans from best to worst for one-year investment performance, three-year investment performance, five-year investment performance and ten-year investment performance.

The top-performing 529 plans

In producing our rankings, we compared the reported investment performance of a subset of portfolios from each 529 savings plan. The "performance score" determines the ranking. For more details on our methodology.

Here are our 529 performance rankings as of December 31, 2015.

We ranked plans that consumers can enroll in directly (see below), as well as those sold through brokers and fee-based financial planners).

Five-year performance ranking

Rank State Plan Performance score
1 District of Columbia DC 529 College Savings Program (Direct-sold) 18.42 Enroll Now
2 New York New York's 529 College Savings Program -- Direct Plan 24.99 Enroll Now
3 Maine NextGen College Investing Plan -- Client Direct Series 27.97 Enroll Now
4 Utah Utah Educational Savings Plan (UESP) 30.72 Plan Details
5 Alaska University of Alaska College Savings Plan 30.91 Enroll Now
6 Florida Florida 529 Savings Plan 31.51 Plan Details
7 Illinois Bright Start College Savings Program -- Direct-sold Plan 32.09 Enroll Now
8 Michigan Michigan Education Savings Program 33.85 Enroll Now
9 New Mexico The Education Plan's College Savings Program 34.77 Enroll Now
10 Ohio Ohio CollegeAdvantage Direct 529 Savings Plan 35.62 Enroll Now

See the full list of five-year direct-sold rankings.

Click "Next Page" below to see 10 year rankings.

Each quarter Savingforcollege.com analyzes the investment performance figures for thousands of 529 portfolios and ranks the 529 savings plans from best to worst for one-year investment performance, three-year investment performance, five-year investment performance and ten-year investment performance.

The top-performing 529 plans

In producing our rankings, we compared the reported investment performance of a subset of portfolios from each 529 savings plan. The "performance score" determines the ranking. For more details on our methodology.

Here are our 529 performance rankings as of December 31, 2015.

We ranked plans that consumers can enroll in directly (see below), as well as those sold through brokers and fee-based financial planners).

Ten-year performance ranking

Rank State Plan Performance score
1 Utah Utah Educational Savings Plan (UESP) 23.29 Plan Details
2 Louisiana START Saving Program 28.98 Plan Details
3 New York New York's 529 College Savings Program -- Direct Plan 31.40 Enroll Now
4 Florida Florida 529 Savings Plan 32.76 Plan Details
5 Alaska University of Alaska College Savings Plan 33.49 Enroll Now
6 District of Columbia DC 529 College Savings Program (Direct-sold) 36.35 Enroll Now
7 Ohio Ohio CollegeAdvantage Direct 529 Savings Plan 37.55 Enroll Now
8 Alaska T. Rowe Price College Savings Plan 38.34 Enroll Now
9 South Carolina Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold) 38.62 Enroll Now
10 Iowa College Savings Iowa 39.03 Enroll Now

See the full list of ten-year direct-sold rankings.

For broker-sold plan rankings and fee-based financial planners.

How to rank 529 plan performance

Ranking over 3,000 investment options is no easy task, considering the wide variety of options found in 529 savings plans, and it requires a special methodology.

Step one: We select specific portfolios from each 529 plan that can be compared on an apples-to-apples basis to portfolios in other 529 plans, based on their allocation among stocks, bonds and short-term instruments (money market and guaranteed investments). We've set up seven different asset-allocation categories ranging from 100 percent equity to 100 percent short-term.

Step two: Within each of the seven categories, we compare historical performance of the selected portfolios and assign each plan a percentile ranking between one (best) and 100 (worst). Separate rankings are developed for one-year, three-year, five-year and ten-year performances.

Step three: We take the average of each 529 plan's percentile rankings in the seven asset-allocation categories to produce a combined or "composite" percentile ranking. We then produce reports showing how the 529 plans rank against each other in their composite percentile rankings. Note: We currently produce these composite rankings for one-year, three-year, five-year and ten-year performances.

For a more in-depth explanation of our methodology, please read our white paper.

See the one-year direct-sold, three-year direct-sold, five-year direct-sold and ten-year direct-sold rankings.

More information

Links to our full report on the composite rankings for this quarter are provided below for the direct-sold 529 plans. Only our Premium subscribers have access to composite rankings for advisor-sold 529 plans, to the underlying data supporting the rankings and to separate one-year, three-year, five-year and ten-year rankings for each of the seven different asset-allocation categories. In addition, subscribers can easily look up the historical performance for every 529 portfolio in every available share class by using our Fee and Performance Lookup Tool.

 

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