Q3 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 September 30, 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
1South DakotaCollegeAccess 529 (Direct-sold)25.30
2AlaskaAlaska 52926.58
2AlaskaT. Rowe Price College Savings Plan26.58
4NevadaUSAA 529 College Savings Plan32.73
5MarylandMaryland 529 -- Maryland Senator Edward J. Kasemeyer College Investment Plan34.72
6South CarolinaFuture Scholar 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold)35.43
7CaliforniaScholarShare 52936.31
8New MexicoThe Education Plan's College Savings Program39.51
9WisconsinTomorrow's Scholar 529 Plan40.40
10NebraskaNebraska Education Savings Trust -- Direct College Savings Plan40.47
11IllinoisBright Start Direct-Sold College Savings Program41.81
12West VirginiaSMART529 Select42.57
13MinnesotaMinnesota College Savings Plan45.29
14KansasSchwab 529 College Savings Plan46.58
15GeorgiaPath2College 529 Plan46.84
17MichiganMichigan Education Savings Program (MESP)48.69
18West VirginiaSMART529 WV Direct College Savings Plan50.17
19MaineNextGen 529 -- Client Direct Series50.71
20OklahomaOklahoma College Savings Plan50.83
21District of ColumbiaDC College Savings Plan51.32
22NevadaThe Vanguard 529 College Savings Plan51.47
23OhioOhio's 529 Plan, CollegeAdvantage51.53
24TexasTexas College Savings Plan51.89
25MontanaAchieve Montana52.14
26FloridaFlorida 529 Savings Plan54.23
27TennesseeTNStars College Savings 529 Program55.66
28VermontVermont Higher Education Investment Plan57.18
29Rhode IslandCollegeBound Saver (Direct-sold)58.49
30IndianaCollegeChoice 529 Direct Savings Plan59.09
31KansasLearning Quest 529 Education Savings Program (Direct-sold)59.17
32PennsylvaniaPennsylvania 529 Investment Plan59.45
34AlabamaCollegeCounts 529 Fund61.70
35New YorkNew York's 529 College Savings Program -- Direct Plan61.75
36KentuckyKY Saves 52962.78
37MississippiMississippi Affordable College Savings (MACS) Program62.84
38North DakotaCollege SAVE (Direct)64.76
39NebraskaBloomwell 529 Education Savings Plan64.90
40NevadaSSGA Upromise 529 Plan65.51
41IowaCollege Savings Iowa66.02
42North CarolinaNC 529 Plan66.81
43OregonOregon College Savings Plan66.84
44MassachusettsU.Fund College Investing Plan68.04
45New HampshireUNIQUE College Investing Plan68.18
46DelawareDE529 Education Savings Plan68.21
47ArizonaAZ529, Arizona’s Education Savings Plan68.21
48MissouriMOST - Missouri's 529 Education Plan (Direct-sold)68.38
49ArkansasGIFT College Investing Plan69.42
50IdahoIdaho College Savings Program (IDeal)71.73
51LouisianaSTART Saving Program72.99
52ColoradoDirect Portfolio College Savings Plan73.36
53HawaiiHawaii's College Savings Program75.73
54New JerseyNJBEST 529 College Savings Plan76.50
55WashingtonDreamAhead College Investment Plan79.43
-ConnecticutConnecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET)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.