Q4 2020 529 plan rankings: Three-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.

Three-year performance ranking (click here for one-year performance table, five-year performance table, and ten-year performance table):

RankStatePlanPerformance Score
1New YorkNew York's 529 College Savings Program -- Direct Plan26.81
2IndianaCollegeChoice 529 Direct Savings Plan27.02
3West VirginiaSMART529 WV Direct College Savings Plan27.92
4OhioOhio's 529 Plan, CollegeAdvantage28.29
5LouisianaSTART Saving Program28.75
6NevadaThe Vanguard 529 College Savings Plan30.12
7IowaCollege Savings Iowa30.78
8PennsylvaniaPennsylvania 529 Investment Plan32.21
9ColoradoDirect Portfolio College Savings Plan32.42
10MichiganMichigan Education Savings Program (MESP)34.99
11MissouriMOST - Missouri's 529 Education Plan (Direct-sold)35.44
12North CarolinaNC 529 Plan36.20
13DelawareDelaware College Investment Plan36.69
14ArizonaFidelity Arizona College Savings Plan36.75
15New HampshireUNIQUE College Investing Plan36.76
16MassachusettsU.Fund College Investing Plan36.86
17IllinoisBright Start Direct-Sold College Savings Program37.02
19South CarolinaFuture Scholar 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold)38.14
20KansasLearning Quest 529 Education Savings Program (Direct-sold)39.15
22CaliforniaScholarShare 52940.44
23FloridaFlorida 529 Savings Plan42.07
24AlaskaAlaska 52944.05
24AlaskaT. Rowe Price College Savings Plan44.05
26AlabamaCollegeCounts 529 Fund44.24
27MaineNextGen 529 -- Client Direct Series46.09
28Rhode IslandCollegeBound Saver (Direct-sold)46.11
29KansasSchwab 529 College Savings Plan46.84
31MarylandMaryland 529 -- Maryland Senator Edward J. Kasemeyer College Investment Plan47.41
32TexasTexas College Savings Plan47.60
33MinnesotaMinnesota College Savings Plan47.92
34New JerseyNJBEST 529 College Savings Plan48.35
35IdahoIdaho College Savings Program (IDeal)50.83
36North DakotaCollege SAVE (Direct)50.84
37HawaiiHawaii's College Savings Program52.47
38ArkansasGIFT College Investing Plan54.00
39VermontVermont Higher Education Investment Plan54.22
40OklahomaOklahoma College Savings Plan55.32
41District of ColumbiaDC College Savings Plan59.33
42NevadaSSGA Upromise 529 Plan72.39
43NevadaUSAA 529 College Savings Plan73.54
44MississippiMississippi Affordable College Savings (MACS) Program74.07
45South DakotaCollegeAccess 529 (Direct-sold)77.14
46West VirginiaSMART529 Select84.97
-ConnecticutConnecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET)N/A
-GeorgiaPath2College 529 PlanN/A
-KentuckyKY Saves 529N/A
-MontanaAchieve MontanaN/A
-NebraskaNebraska Education Savings Trust -- Direct College Savings PlanN/A
-NebraskaTD Ameritrade 529 College Savings PlanN/A
-New MexicoThe Education Plan's College Savings ProgramN/A
-OregonOregon College Savings PlanN/A
-TennesseeTNStars College Savings 529 ProgramN/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.