Q4 2018 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, 2018 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
1Utahmy52915.66
2District of ColumbiaDC College Savings Plan17.37
3KansasLearning Quest 529 Education Savings Program (Direct-sold)20.94
4West VirginiaSMART529 WV Direct College Savings Plan21.09
5NebraskaNebraska Education Savings Trust -- Direct College Savings Plan25.10
6New JerseyNJBEST 529 College Savings Plan25.34
7GeorgiaPath2College 529 Plan26.87
8New YorkNew York's 529 College Savings Program -- Direct Plan29.25
9NebraskaTD Ameritrade 529 College Savings Plan30.74
10AlabamaCollegeCounts 529 Fund31.00
11NevadaThe Vanguard 529 College Savings Plan31.14
12CaliforniaScholarShare 52931.55
13MichiganMichigan Education Savings Program (MESP)32.79
14MissouriMOST - Missouri's 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold)32.89
15MinnesotaMinnesota College Savings Plan32.92
16ColoradoDirect Portfolio College Savings Plan34.38
17IowaCollege Savings Iowa34.60
18LouisianaSTART Saving Program35.13
19IllinoisBright Start Direct-Sold College Savings Program35.52
20MaineNextGen College Investing Plan -- Client Direct Series35.79
21South CarolinaFuture Scholar 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold)36.23
22IndianaCollegeChoice 529 Direct Savings Plan37.32
23OhioOhio’s 529 Plan, CollegeAdvantage37.44
24Rhode IslandCollegeBound Saver (Direct-sold)39.02
25North CarolinaNational College Savings Program40.68
26MarylandMaryland 529 -- Maryland Senator Edward J. Kasemeyer College Investment Plan41.69
27New MexicoThe Education Plan's College Savings Program41.80
28IdahoIdaho College Savings Program (IDeal)41.96
29VermontVermont Higher Education Investment Plan42.32
30WisconsinEdvest42.33
31North DakotaCollege SAVE (Direct)43.22
32ArkansasGIFT College Investing Plan43.23
33PennsylvaniaPennsylvania 529 Investment Plan44.81
34KansasSchwab 529 College Savings Plan44.87
35HawaiiHawaii's College Savings Program45.54
36VirginiaInvest52947.54
37OklahomaOklahoma College Savings Plan47.75
38TennesseeTNStars College Savings 529 Program47.94
39KentuckyKY Saves 52948.05
40NevadaSSGA Upromise 529 Plan48.29
41AlaskaT. Rowe Price College Savings Plan49.20
41AlaskaUniversity of Alaska College Savings Plan49.20
43ConnecticutConnecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET)49.49
44MississippiMississippi Affordable College Savings (MACS) Program49.81
45MontanaAchieve Montana50.73
46DelawareDelaware College Investment Plan50.94
47ArizonaFidelity Arizona College Savings Plan51.17
48New HampshireUNIQUE College Investing Plan51.31
49MassachusettsU.Fund College Investing Plan51.92
50TexasTexas College Savings Plan53.69
51FloridaFlorida 529 Savings Plan53.96
52West VirginiaSMART529 Select66.87
53NevadaUSAA 529 College Savings Plan80.42
54South DakotaCollegeAccess 529 (Direct-sold)87.08
-OregonOregon College Savings 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.