Q4 2020 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 December 31, 2020 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
1West VirginiaSMART529 WV Direct College Savings Plan30.54
2LouisianaSTART Saving Program31.47
3IndianaCollegeChoice 529 Direct Savings Plan31.62
4New YorkNew York's 529 College Savings Program -- Direct Plan33.42
5ColoradoDirect Portfolio College Savings Plan34.15
6NevadaThe Vanguard 529 College Savings Plan35.56
7IowaCollege Savings Iowa35.67
8TexasTexas College Savings Plan37.62
9OregonOregon College Savings Plan37.75
10PennsylvaniaPennsylvania 529 Investment Plan38.92
11North CarolinaNC 529 Plan38.94
12DelawareDelaware College Investment Plan39.32
13New HampshireUNIQUE College Investing Plan39.35
14MassachusettsU.Fund College Investing Plan39.45
15ArizonaFidelity Arizona College Savings Plan39.59
16MissouriMOST - Missouri's 529 Education Plan (Direct-sold)40.32
17WashingtonDreamAhead College Investment Plan40.42
18CaliforniaScholarShare 52940.95
19MichiganMichigan Education Savings Program (MESP)41.57
20FloridaFlorida 529 Savings Plan41.65
21IllinoisBright Start Direct-Sold College Savings Program41.82
22KansasSchwab 529 College Savings Plan42.17
23VirginiaInvest52942.49
24OhioOhio's 529 Plan, CollegeAdvantage42.94
25AlabamaCollegeCounts 529 Fund44.23
26WisconsinEdvest44.58
27Rhode IslandCollegeBound Saver (Direct-sold)45.54
28South CarolinaFuture Scholar 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold)46.86
29North DakotaCollege SAVE (Direct)46.92
30New JerseyNJBEST 529 College Savings Plan47.17
31MaineNextGen 529 -- Client Direct Series48.81
32TennesseeTNStars College Savings 529 Program48.95
33KansasLearning Quest 529 Education Savings Program (Direct-sold)49.31
34IdahoIdaho College Savings Program (IDeal)49.33
35Utahmy52949.88
36ArkansasGIFT College Investing Plan51.50
37OklahomaOklahoma College Savings Plan53.56
38MarylandMaryland 529 -- Maryland Senator Edward J. Kasemeyer College Investment Plan53.77
39HawaiiHawaii's College Savings Program55.17
40AlaskaAlaska 52955.83
40AlaskaT. Rowe Price College Savings Plan55.83
42VermontVermont Higher Education Investment Plan56.42
44New MexicoThe Education Plan's College Savings Program57.73
43MinnesotaMinnesota College Savings Plan64.41
45South DakotaCollegeAccess 529 (Direct-sold)65.68
46District of ColumbiaDC College Savings Plan66.12
47MontanaAchieve Montana67.77
49NevadaUSAA 529 College Savings Plan69.09
48KentuckyKY Saves 52971.51
50MississippiMississippi Affordable College Savings (MACS) Program72.19
51NevadaSSGA Upromise 529 Plan74.18
52West VirginiaSMART529 Select76.17
-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

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.