Q4 2019 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, 2019 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, CollegeAdvantage25.54
2West VirginiaSMART529 WV Direct College Savings Plan31.72
3CaliforniaScholarShare 52931.93
4ArizonaFidelity Arizona College Savings Plan32.46
5DelawareDelaware College Investment Plan32.47
6New HampshireUNIQUE College Investing Plan32.56
7MassachusettsU.Fund College Investing Plan32.56
8AlaskaAlaska 52932.89
8AlaskaT. Rowe Price College Savings Plan32.89
10WisconsinEdvest33.79
11South CarolinaFuture Scholar 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold)34.55
12VirginiaInvest52934.66
13New YorkNew York's 529 College Savings Program -- Direct Plan35.19
14NevadaThe Vanguard 529 College Savings Plan35.66
15IndianaCollegeChoice 529 Direct Savings Plan36.91
16NebraskaNebraska Education Savings Trust -- Direct College Savings Plan38.91
17KansasLearning Quest 529 Education Savings Program (Direct-sold)39.26
18LouisianaSTART Saving Program39.28
19MichiganMichigan Education Savings Program (MESP)39.78
20IowaCollege Savings Iowa40.13
21MissouriMOST - Missouri's 529 Education Plan (Direct-sold)41.54
22GeorgiaPath2College 529 Plan42.54
23North CarolinaNC 529 Plan44.32
24MinnesotaMinnesota College Savings Plan46.24
25MarylandMaryland 529 -- Maryland Senator Edward J. Kasemeyer College Investment Plan47.01
26MaineNextGen 529 -- Client Direct Series47.65
27OklahomaOklahoma College Savings Plan47.86
28FloridaFlorida 529 Savings Plan47.97
29ColoradoDirect Portfolio College Savings Plan49.08
30Utahmy52953.14
31ConnecticutConnecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET)55.22
32HawaiiHawaii's College Savings Program58.34
33NevadaUSAA 529 College Savings Plan59.25
34AlabamaCollegeCounts 529 Fund59.26
35IdahoIdaho College Savings Program (IDeal)60.59
36ArkansasGIFT College Investing Plan63.31
37TexasTexas College Savings Plan65.45
38NevadaSSGA Upromise 529 Plan65.90
39KansasSchwab 529 College Savings Plan69.49
40New JerseyNJBEST 529 College Savings Plan71.47
41South DakotaCollegeAccess 529 (Direct-sold)75.28
42West VirginiaSMART529 Select85.01
-District of ColumbiaDC College Savings PlanN/A
-IllinoisBright Start Direct-Sold College Savings ProgramN/A
-KentuckyKY Saves 529N/A
-MississippiMississippi Affordable College Savings (MACS) ProgramN/A
-MontanaAchieve MontanaN/A
-NebraskaTD Ameritrade 529 College 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
-TennesseeTNStars College Savings 529 ProgramN/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.