Q3 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 September 30, 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, CollegeAdvantage23.53
2New YorkNew York's 529 College Savings Program -- Direct Plan25.07
3CaliforniaScholarShare 52926.44
4West VirginiaSMART529 WV Direct College Savings Plan32.38
6KansasLearning Quest 529 Education Savings Program (Direct-sold)33.38
7AlaskaT. Rowe Price College Savings Plan33.44
7AlaskaUniversity of Alaska College Savings Plan33.44
9MaineNextGen College Investing Plan -- Client Direct Series33.53
10North CarolinaNational College Savings Program34.35
11NevadaThe Vanguard 529 College Savings Plan34.95
12NebraskaNebraska Education Savings Trust -- Direct College Savings Plan35.12
13South CarolinaFuture Scholar 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold)38.22
14FloridaFlorida 529 Savings Plan38.42
15MichiganMichigan Education Savings Program (MESP)39.27
16GeorgiaPath2College 529 Plan39.45
17TennesseeTNStars College Savings 529 Program39.72
18LouisianaSTART Saving Program39.88
20IowaCollege Savings Iowa40.65
21MissouriMOST - Missouri's 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold)41.10
22NebraskaTD Ameritrade 529 College Savings Plan41.22
23OklahomaOklahoma College Savings Plan41.36
24ColoradoDirect Portfolio College Savings Plan42.23
25MinnesotaMinnesota College Savings Plan47.31
26IndianaCollegeChoice 529 Direct Savings Plan47.75
27MarylandMaryland 529 -- Maryland Senator Edward J. Kasemeyer College Investment Plan49.09
28DelawareDelaware College Investment Plan49.60
29New HampshireUNIQUE College Investing Plan49.61
30MassachusettsU.Fund College Investing Plan49.76
31ArizonaFidelity Arizona College Savings Plan49.81
32NevadaSSGA Upromise 529 Plan50.38
33HawaiiHawaii's College Savings Program50.95
34KentuckyKentucky Education Savings Plan Trust52.42
35IdahoIdaho College Savings Program (IDeal)53.68
36ConnecticutConnecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET)55.99
37ArkansasGIFT College Investing Plan57.16
39New MexicoThe Education Plan's College Savings Program59.36
40KansasSchwab 529 College Savings Plan63.18
41New JerseyNJBEST 529 College Savings Plan63.86
42NevadaUSAA 529 College Savings Plan65.11
43AlabamaCollegeCounts 529 Fund65.39
44TexasTexas College Savings Plan66.81
45South DakotaCollegeAccess 529 (Direct-sold)77.23
46West VirginiaSMART529 Select79.87
-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.