Q4 2018 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, 2018 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
1OhioOhio’s 529 Plan, CollegeAdvantage19.34
2New YorkNew York's 529 College Savings Program -- Direct Plan21.24
3CaliforniaScholarShare 52922.50
4North CarolinaNational College Savings Program27.19
5KansasLearning Quest 529 Education Savings Program (Direct-sold)27.76
6West VirginiaSMART529 WV Direct College Savings Plan28.70
8NevadaThe Vanguard 529 College Savings Plan28.88
7NebraskaNebraska Education Savings Trust -- Direct College Savings Plan29.10
9MissouriMOST - Missouri's 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold)29.53
10IowaCollege Savings Iowa30.12
11South CarolinaFuture Scholar 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold)30.23
12LouisianaSTART Saving Program31.08
13MichiganMichigan Education Savings Program (MESP)31.84
15TennesseeTNStars College Savings 529 Program33.24
17MaineNextGen College Investing Plan -- Client Direct Series34.37
18NebraskaTD Ameritrade 529 College Savings Plan36.13
19GeorgiaPath2College 529 Plan36.42
20AlaskaT. Rowe Price College Savings Plan36.45
20AlaskaUniversity of Alaska College Savings Plan36.45
22ColoradoDirect Portfolio College Savings Plan36.87
23MinnesotaMinnesota College Savings Plan38.87
24FloridaFlorida 529 Savings Plan41.39
25New HampshireUNIQUE College Investing Plan42.09
26DelawareDelaware College Investment Plan42.10
27MassachusettsU.Fund College Investing Plan42.22
28ArizonaFidelity Arizona College Savings Plan42.23
29OklahomaOklahoma College Savings Plan43.87
30IndianaCollegeChoice 529 Direct Savings Plan44.62
31IdahoIdaho College Savings Program (IDeal)47.27
32KentuckyKY Saves 52948.33
33MarylandMaryland 529 -- Maryland Senator Edward J. Kasemeyer College Investment Plan48.70
34NevadaSSGA Upromise 529 Plan49.86
35HawaiiHawaii's College Savings Program50.31
36ArkansasGIFT College Investing Plan51.30
38ConnecticutConnecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET)53.32
39New MexicoThe Education Plan's College Savings Program57.43
40AlabamaCollegeCounts 529 Fund57.83
41TexasTexas College Savings Plan66.32
42KansasSchwab 529 College Savings Plan66.99
43New JerseyNJBEST 529 College Savings Plan70.89
44NevadaUSAA 529 College Savings Plan71.46
45South DakotaCollegeAccess 529 (Direct-sold)79.66
46West VirginiaSMART529 Select80.56
-District of ColumbiaDC College Savings PlanN/A
-IllinoisBright Start Direct-Sold College Savings ProgramN/A
-MississippiMississippi Affordable College Savings (MACS) ProgramN/A
-MontanaAchieve MontanaN/A
-North DakotaCollege SAVE (Direct)N/A
-OregonOregon College Savings PlanN/A
-PennsylvaniaPennsylvania 529 Investment PlanN/A
-Rhode IslandCollegeBound Saver (Direct-sold)N/A
-VermontVermont Higher Education Investment 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.