COLLEGE SAVINGS 101

Savingforcollege.com

Top Ten Direct-Sold 529 Plans*
http://www.savingforcollege.com/articles/top-ten-direct-sold-529-plans-873

Posted: 2015-11-24

by Kathryn Flynn

*Three-year performance rankings as of 09/30/15

The highly anticipated Savingforcollege.com direct-sold 529 plan third quarter performance rankings are here!

529 plans are generally made up of mutual funds with varying investment options. Each quarter, after analyzing data from thousands of underlying investment portfolios, Savingforcollege.com determines the overall top performing 529 plans. The following slideshow features our most recent top ten list of the plans that can be purchased directly through the plan manager (without having to go through a financial advisor). The "performance score" determines the ranking.

The rankings shown in the slideshow are based on performance over the last three years, giving you a better idea of how the plan fared over time.

Remember that you can open a 529 plan from almost any state, regardless of where you live!

Click here to see rankings that include plans sold through brokers and fee-based financial planners.

One-year rankings
Five-year rankings
Ten-year rankings

Start Slideshow

10. South Carolina – Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold)

  • Performance score: 35.62
  • Account owner or beneficiary must be a resident of South Carolina, or an employee of the State of South Carolina, at the time of program enrollment.
  • Program manager: Columbia Management Investment Distributors, Inc.
  • Enroll Now

9. West Virginia – SMART529 WV Direct College Savings Plan

  • Performance score: 34.35
  • Account owner or designated beneficiary must have a West Virginia mailing address or be a West Virginia resident on active duty in the U.S. armed forces.
  • Program manager: Hartford Life Insurance Company
  • Plan Details

8. Tennessee: TNStars College Savings 529 Program

  • Performance score: 34.12
  • Available to U.S. citizens and legal residents at least 18 years old, UGMA/UTMA custodians, and legal entities.
  • Program manager: State of Tennessee Treasury Department
  • Plan Details

7. Florida – Florida 529 Savings Plan

  • Performance score: 34.07
  • Available to U.S. citizens and resident aliens at least 18 years old, UGMA/UTMA custodians, and legal entities organized in the U.S.
  • Program managers: Florida Prepaid College Board
  • Enroll Now

6. New Jersey – NJBEST 529 College Savings Plan

  • Performance score: 32.68
  • Available to individuals of legal age, trusts, corporations, and other legal entities. Account owners must provide a Taxpayer Identification Number. The contributor or the beneficiary must be a New Jersey resident at the time of program enrollment.
  • Program manager: Franklin Templeton Distributors, Inc.
  • Enroll Now

5. Utah – Utah Education Savings Plan (UESP)

  • Performance score: 32.26
  • Available to individuals at least 18 years old, UGMA/UTMA custodians, and legal entities.
  • Program manager: Utah Higher Education Assistance Authority
  • Plan Details

4. Maine: NextGen College Investing Plan – Client Direct Series

  • Performance score: 26.57
  • Available to U.S. citizens and resident aliens at least 18 years old, UGMA/UTMA custodians, and legal entities.
  • Program manager: Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated
  • Enroll Now

3. New York: New York’s 529 College Savings Program –Direct Plan

  • Performance score: 26.17
  • Available to U.S. citizens and resident aliens including minors, UGMA/UTMA custodians, and legal entities.
  • Program manager: Ascensus College Savings
  • Enroll Now

2. California – The Scholarshare College Savings Plan

  • Performance score: 24.40
  • Available to all U.S. citizens and resident aliens at least 18 years old, emancipated minors, UGMA/UTMA custodians, and legal entities.
  • Program manager: TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc. (TFI)
  • Enroll Now

1. District of Columbia: DC 529 College Savings Program (Direct-sold)

  • Performance score: 13.28
  • Available to U.S. citizens and resident aliens of legal age, UGMA/UTMA custodians, and legal entities, however the account owner must be a District of Columbia resident at the time of enrollment or work for a firm with over 300 employees that has payroll deduction for the DC College Savings Plan.
  • Program manager: Calvert Investment Management, Inc.
  • Enroll Now

*Three-year performance rankings as of 09/30/15

The highly anticipated Savingforcollege.com direct-sold 529 plan third quarter performance rankings are here!

529 plans are generally made up of mutual funds with varying investment options. Each quarter, after analyzing data from thousands of underlying investment portfolios, Savingforcollege.com determines the overall top performing 529 plans. The following slideshow features our most recent top ten list of the plans that can be purchased directly through the plan manager (without having to go through a financial advisor). The "performance score" determines the ranking.

The rankings shown in the slideshow are based on performance over the last three years, giving you a better idea of how the plan fared over time.

Remember that you can open a 529 plan from almost any state, regardless of where you live!

Click here to see rankings that include plans sold through brokers and fee-based financial planners.

One-year rankings
Five-year rankings
Ten-year rankings

Start Slideshow

10. South Carolina – Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold)

  • Performance score: 35.62
  • Account owner or beneficiary must be a resident of South Carolina, or an employee of the State of South Carolina, at the time of program enrollment.
  • Program manager: Columbia Management Investment Distributors, Inc.
  • Enroll Now

9. West Virginia – SMART529 WV Direct College Savings Plan

  • Performance score: 34.35
  • Account owner or designated beneficiary must have a West Virginia mailing address or be a West Virginia resident on active duty in the U.S. armed forces.
  • Program manager: Hartford Life Insurance Company
  • Plan Details

8. Tennessee: TNStars College Savings 529 Program

  • Performance score: 34.12
  • Available to U.S. citizens and legal residents at least 18 years old, UGMA/UTMA custodians, and legal entities.
  • Program manager: State of Tennessee Treasury Department
  • Plan Details

7. Florida – Florida 529 Savings Plan

  • Performance score: 34.07
  • Available to U.S. citizens and resident aliens at least 18 years old, UGMA/UTMA custodians, and legal entities organized in the U.S.
  • Program managers: Florida Prepaid College Board
  • Enroll Now

6. New Jersey – NJBEST 529 College Savings Plan

  • Performance score: 32.68
  • Available to individuals of legal age, trusts, corporations, and other legal entities. Account owners must provide a Taxpayer Identification Number. The contributor or the beneficiary must be a New Jersey resident at the time of program enrollment.
  • Program manager: Franklin Templeton Distributors, Inc.
  • Enroll Now

5. Utah – Utah Education Savings Plan (UESP)

  • Performance score: 32.26
  • Available to individuals at least 18 years old, UGMA/UTMA custodians, and legal entities.
  • Program manager: Utah Higher Education Assistance Authority
  • Plan Details

4. Maine: NextGen College Investing Plan – Client Direct Series

  • Performance score: 26.57
  • Available to U.S. citizens and resident aliens at least 18 years old, UGMA/UTMA custodians, and legal entities.
  • Program manager: Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated
  • Enroll Now

3. New York: New York’s 529 College Savings Program –Direct Plan

  • Performance score: 26.17
  • Available to U.S. citizens and resident aliens including minors, UGMA/UTMA custodians, and legal entities.
  • Program manager: Ascensus College Savings
  • Enroll Now

2. California – The Scholarshare College Savings Plan

  • Performance score: 24.40
  • Available to all U.S. citizens and resident aliens at least 18 years old, emancipated minors, UGMA/UTMA custodians, and legal entities.
  • Program manager: TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc. (TFI)
  • Enroll Now

1. District of Columbia: DC 529 College Savings Program (Direct-sold)

  • Performance score: 13.28
  • Available to U.S. citizens and resident aliens of legal age, UGMA/UTMA custodians, and legal entities, however the account owner must be a District of Columbia resident at the time of enrollment or work for a firm with over 300 employees that has payroll deduction for the DC College Savings Plan.
  • Program manager: Calvert Investment Management, Inc.
  • Enroll Now
 

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