Q1 2019 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 March 31, 2019 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
1CaliforniaScholarShare 52932.04
2West VirginiaSMART529 WV Direct College Savings Plan32.14
3AlaskaT. Rowe Price College Savings Plan33.22
3AlaskaUniversity of Alaska College Savings Plan33.22
5OhioOhio’s 529 Plan, CollegeAdvantage34.68
7NevadaThe Vanguard 529 College Savings Plan38.38
8New YorkNew York's 529 College Savings Program -- Direct Plan39.46
9IndianaCollegeChoice 529 Direct Savings Plan40.67
10South CarolinaFuture Scholar 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold)41.98
11New HampshireUNIQUE College Investing Plan42.08
12ArizonaFidelity Arizona College Savings Plan42.10
13DelawareDelaware College Investment Plan42.19
14MassachusettsU.Fund College Investing Plan42.22
15NebraskaNebraska Education Savings Trust -- Direct College Savings Plan42.44
17NebraskaTD Ameritrade 529 College Savings Plan43.18
18MarylandMaryland 529 -- Maryland Senator Edward J. Kasemeyer College Investment Plan44.85
19MaineNextGen 529 -- Client Direct Series45.23
20GeorgiaPath2College 529 Plan47.13
21KansasLearning Quest 529 Education Savings Program (Direct-sold)47.85
22LouisianaSTART Saving Program48.56
23North CarolinaNC 529 Plan49.20
24MissouriMOST - Missouri's 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold)50.48
25MichiganMichigan Education Savings Program (MESP)50.68
26NevadaUSAA 529 College Savings Plan50.72
27OklahomaOklahoma College Savings Plan51.20
28ColoradoDirect Portfolio College Savings Plan52.18
29New JerseyNJBEST 529 College Savings Plan53.65
30IowaCollege Savings Iowa54.02
31FloridaFlorida 529 Savings Plan54.17
32ConnecticutConnecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET)54.20
33MinnesotaMinnesota College Savings Plan54.93
34TennesseeTNStars College Savings 529 Program57.71
35NevadaSSGA Upromise 529 Plan59.13
37IdahoIdaho College Savings Program (IDeal)61.79
38ArkansasGIFT College Investing Plan63.16
39TexasTexas College Savings Plan63.42
40HawaiiHawaii's College Savings Program64.79
41AlabamaCollegeCounts 529 Fund66.18
42South DakotaCollegeAccess 529 (Direct-sold)67.95
43KansasSchwab 529 College Savings Plan70.10
44New MexicoThe Education Plan's College Savings Program72.99
45VermontVermont Higher Education Investment Plan75.55
46West VirginiaSMART529 Select84.94
47MontanaAchieve Montana87.34
-District of ColumbiaDC College Savings PlanN/A
-IllinoisBright Start Direct-Sold College Savings ProgramN/A
-KentuckyKY Saves 529N/A
-MississippiMississippi Affordable College Savings (MACS) ProgramN/A
-North DakotaCollege SAVE (Direct)N/A
-OregonOregon College Savings PlanN/A
-PennsylvaniaPennsylvania 529 Investment PlanN/A
-Rhode IslandCollegeBound Saver (Direct-sold)N/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.