Q3 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 September 30, 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
1West VirginiaSMART529 WV Direct College Savings Plan22.98
2KansasLearning Quest 529 Education Savings Program (Direct-sold)24.98
4GeorgiaPath2College 529 Plan27.17
5NebraskaNebraska Education Savings Trust -- Direct College Savings Plan27.18
6South CarolinaFuture Scholar 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold)29.28
7CaliforniaScholarShare 52930.14
8NebraskaTD Ameritrade 529 College Savings Plan32.10
10New YorkNew York's 529 College Savings Program -- Direct Plan34.29
11OklahomaOklahoma College Savings Plan34.36
12MaineNextGen College Investing Plan -- Client Direct Series34.62
13KansasSchwab 529 College Savings Plan34.97
14MinnesotaMinnesota College Savings Plan37.47
15IllinoisBright Start Direct-Sold College Savings Program38.17
16AlaskaT. Rowe Price College Savings Plan39.56
16AlaskaUniversity of Alaska College Savings Plan39.56
18IndianaCollegeChoice 529 Direct Savings Plan40.19
19MichiganMichigan Education Savings Program (MESP)40.49
20ColoradoDirect Portfolio College Savings Plan41.60
21NevadaThe Vanguard 529 College Savings Plan42.82
22OhioOhio’s 529 Plan, CollegeAdvantage43.91
23MarylandMaryland 529 -- Maryland Senator Edward J. Kasemeyer College Investment Plan44.71
24District of ColumbiaDC College Savings Plan45.61
25New JerseyNJBEST 529 College Savings Plan46.13
26NevadaSSGA Upromise 529 Plan46.42
27FloridaFlorida 529 Savings Plan46.81
28HawaiiHawaii's College Savings Program46.87
29MissouriMOST - Missouri's 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold)48.06
30AlabamaCollegeCounts 529 Fund50.53
31ArkansasGIFT College Investing Plan50.74
32North DakotaCollege SAVE (Direct)51.35
33Rhode IslandCollegeBound Saver (Direct-sold)52.83
34TexasTexas College Savings Plan53.21
35IowaCollege Savings Iowa53.54
36LouisianaSTART Saving Program54.10
37North CarolinaNational College Savings Program54.40
38IdahoIdaho College Savings Program (IDeal)55.11
39KentuckyKentucky Education Savings Plan Trust55.79
41TennesseeTNStars College Savings 529 Program59.62
42New MexicoThe Education Plan's College Savings Program61.00
43PennsylvaniaPennsylvania 529 Investment Plan61.51
44ConnecticutConnecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET)62.26
45New HampshireUNIQUE College Investing Plan63.57
46MassachusettsU.Fund College Investing Plan63.58
47DelawareDelaware College Investment Plan63.68
48ArizonaFidelity Arizona College Savings Plan63.97
49MontanaAchieve Montana64.20
50VermontVermont Higher Education Investment Plan66.44
51West VirginiaSMART529 Select67.41
52MississippiMississippi Affordable College Savings (MACS) Program73.22
53South DakotaCollegeAccess 529 (Direct-sold)74.74
54NevadaUSAA 529 College Savings Plan77.21
-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.