Q1 2021 529 plan rankings: Five-year performance

Savingforcollege.comBy: Savingforcollege.com | 

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 "performance score" determines 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, 2021 for Direct-sold 529 plans.

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

RankStatePlanPerformance Score
1West VirginiaSMART529 WV Direct College Savings Plan32.03
3AlaskaAlaska 52936.26
3AlaskaT. Rowe Price College Savings Plan36.26
5NevadaThe Vanguard 529 College Savings Plan38.40
6OhioOhio's 529 Plan, CollegeAdvantage38.80
7South CarolinaFuture Scholar 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold)38.84
8New HampshireUNIQUE College Investing Plan40.00
9ArizonaFidelity Arizona College Savings Plan40.03
10DelawareDelaware College Investment Plan40.06
11IndianaCollegeChoice 529 Direct Savings Plan40.07
12MassachusettsU.Fund College Investing Plan40.09
13New YorkNew York's 529 College Savings Program -- Direct Plan40.95
14MichiganMichigan Education Savings Program (MESP)42.01
15CaliforniaScholarShare 52942.25
16MarylandMaryland 529 -- Maryland Senator Edward J. Kasemeyer College Investment Plan42.87
18KansasLearning Quest 529 Education Savings Program (Direct-sold)46.83
19FloridaFlorida 529 Savings Plan49.41
20ColoradoDirect Portfolio College Savings Plan50.08
21LouisianaSTART Saving Program51.10
22North CarolinaNC 529 Plan51.38
23MaineNextGen 529 -- Client Direct Series52.13
25OklahomaOklahoma College Savings Plan52.84
24MissouriMOST - Missouri's 529 Education Plan (Direct-sold)53.93
26IowaCollege Savings Iowa55.99
27MinnesotaMinnesota College Savings Plan57.49
30TexasTexas College Savings Plan58.52
29NevadaUSAA 529 College Savings Plan60.40
31KansasSchwab 529 College Savings Plan60.99
32AlabamaCollegeCounts 529 Fund63.25
33HawaiiHawaii's College Savings Program67.49
34IdahoIdaho College Savings Program (IDeal)67.68
35New JerseyNJBEST 529 College Savings Plan68.08
36ArkansasGIFT College Investing Plan69.11
37NevadaSSGA Upromise 529 Plan71.55
38VermontVermont Higher Education Investment Plan75.49
39West VirginiaSMART529 Select84.80
-ConnecticutConnecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET)N/A
-District of ColumbiaDC College Savings PlanN/A
-GeorgiaPath2College 529 PlanN/A
-IllinoisBright Start Direct-Sold College Savings ProgramN/A
-KentuckyKY Saves 529N/A
-MississippiMississippi Affordable College Savings (MACS) ProgramN/A
-MontanaAchieve MontanaN/A
-NebraskaNebraska Education Savings Trust -- Direct College Savings PlanN/A
-NebraskaBloomwell 529 Education Savings PlanN/A
-New MexicoThe Education Plan's College Savings ProgramN/A
-North DakotaCollege SAVE (Direct)N/A
-OregonOregon College Savings PlanN/A
-PennsylvaniaPennsylvania 529 Investment PlanN/A
-Rhode IslandCollegeBound Saver (Direct-sold)N/A
-South DakotaCollegeAccess 529 (Direct-sold)N/A
-TennesseeTNStars College Savings 529 ProgramN/A
-WashingtonDreamAhead College Investment PlanN/A

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.

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

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.