Q4 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 December 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
1IndianaCollegeChoice 529 Direct Savings Plan20.34
2West VirginiaSMART529 WV Direct College Savings Plan25.96
3NevadaThe Vanguard 529 College Savings Plan32.07
4NebraskaNebraska Education Savings Trust -- Direct College Savings Plan34.15
5AlaskaAlaska 52935.56
5AlaskaT. Rowe Price College Savings Plan35.56
7MassachusettsU.Fund College Investing Plan36.40
8DelawareDE529 Education Savings Plan36.41
9New HampshireUNIQUE College Investing Plan36.44
10ArizonaAZ529, Arizona’s Education Savings Plan36.51
11MichiganMichigan Education Savings Program (MESP)38.09
12New YorkNew York's 529 College Savings Program -- Direct Plan39.50
13CaliforniaScholarShare 52939.61
14South CarolinaFuture Scholar 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold)40.57
17MarylandMaryland 529 -- Maryland Senator Edward J. Kasemeyer College Investment Plan45.54
18FloridaFlorida 529 Savings Plan46.30
19PennsylvaniaPennsylvania 529 Investment Plan46.37
20KansasLearning Quest 529 Education Savings Program (Direct-sold)49.55
21MinnesotaMinnesota College Savings Plan50.65
22North CarolinaNC 529 Plan51.11
24LouisianaSTART Saving Program51.99
25OklahomaOklahoma College Savings Plan52.09
26ColoradoDirect Portfolio College Savings Plan52.96
27Rhode IslandCollegeBound Saver (Direct-sold)54.18
28MissouriMOST - Missouri's 529 Education Plan (Direct-sold)54.63
29IowaCollege Savings Iowa55.26
30MaineNextGen 529 -- Client Direct Series56.28
31AlabamaCollegeCounts 529 Fund57.84
32KansasSchwab 529 College Savings Plan60.11
33ArkansasArkansas Brighter Future Direct Plan66.52
34VermontVermont Higher Education Investment Plan66.59
35IdahoIdaho College Savings Program (IDeal)67.82
36HawaiiHawaii's College Savings Program68.28
37NevadaSSGA Upromise 529 Plan68.98
38NevadaUSAA 529 Education Savings Plan71.73
39New JerseyNJBEST 529 College Savings Plan74.18
40West VirginiaSMART529 Select85.03
-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
-NebraskaBloomwell 529 Education Savings PlanN/A
-New MexicoThe Education Plan's College Savings ProgramN/A
-North DakotaCollege SAVE (Direct)N/A
-OhioOhio's 529 Plan, CollegeAdvantageN/A
-OregonOregon College Savings PlanN/A
-South DakotaCollegeAccess 529 (Direct-sold)N/A
-TennesseeTNStars College Savings 529 ProgramN/A
-TexasTexas College Savings PlanN/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.