Q1 2021 529 plan rankings: One-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.

One-year performance ranking (click here for three-year performance table, five-year performance table, and ten-year performance table):

RankStatePlanPerformance Score
1NevadaUSAA 529 College Savings Plan29.21
2MarylandMaryland 529 -- Maryland Senator Edward J. Kasemeyer College Investment Plan31.55
3AlaskaAlaska 52931.80
3AlaskaT. Rowe Price College Savings Plan31.80
5IllinoisBright Start Direct-Sold College Savings Program41.39
6South CarolinaFuture Scholar 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold)44.32
7West VirginiaSMART529 Select46.00
8NevadaThe Vanguard 529 College Savings Plan46.43
9FloridaFlorida 529 Savings Plan46.55
11West VirginiaSMART529 WV Direct College Savings Plan49.09
13KansasSchwab 529 College Savings Plan49.76
14OhioOhio's 529 Plan, CollegeAdvantage50.73
15New MexicoThe Education Plan's College Savings Program52.38
16OklahomaOklahoma College Savings Plan52.61
17CaliforniaScholarShare 52952.95
18MaineNextGen 529 -- Client Direct Series53.03
19TexasTexas College Savings Plan53.83
20TennesseeTNStars College Savings 529 Program53.92
21OregonOregon College Savings Plan54.86
22PennsylvaniaPennsylvania 529 Investment Plan54.98
23IndianaCollegeChoice 529 Direct Savings Plan55.62
24New YorkNew York's 529 College Savings Program -- Direct Plan56.40
25MichiganMichigan Education Savings Program (MESP)56.42
26KentuckyKY Saves 52956.84
28KansasLearning Quest 529 Education Savings Program (Direct-sold)59.44
29North DakotaCollege SAVE (Direct)59.93
30IowaCollege Savings Iowa60.50
31New HampshireUNIQUE College Investing Plan61.15
32MassachusettsU.Fund College Investing Plan61.17
33DelawareDelaware College Investment Plan61.22
34North CarolinaNC 529 Plan61.24
35ArizonaFidelity Arizona College Savings Plan61.27
36AlabamaCollegeCounts 529 Fund61.47
37ColoradoDirect Portfolio College Savings Plan61.57
38MissouriMOST - Missouri's 529 Education Plan (Direct-sold)61.80
39Rhode IslandCollegeBound Saver (Direct-sold)62.33
40LouisianaSTART Saving Program62.81
41VermontVermont Higher Education Investment Plan63.05
42ArkansasGIFT College Investing Plan63.44
44New JerseyNJBEST 529 College Savings Plan64.05
43IdahoIdaho College Savings Program (IDeal)64.16
45MontanaAchieve Montana65.57
46NevadaSSGA Upromise 529 Plan66.31
47HawaiiHawaii's College Savings Program66.99
49MinnesotaMinnesota College Savings Plan70.44
48WashingtonDreamAhead College Investment Plan70.79
50MississippiMississippi Affordable College Savings (MACS) Program73.43
51District of ColumbiaDC College Savings Plan76.66
-ConnecticutConnecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET)N/A
-GeorgiaPath2College 529 PlanN/A
-NebraskaNebraska Education Savings Trust -- Direct College Savings PlanN/A
-NebraskaTD Ameritrade 529 College Savings PlanN/A
-South DakotaCollegeAccess 529 (Direct-sold)N/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.