Q3 2021 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 September 30, 2021 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
1OhioOhio's 529 Plan, CollegeAdvantage27.78
2AlaskaAlaska 52930.20
2AlaskaT. Rowe Price College Savings Plan30.20
4NebraskaNebraska Education Savings Trust -- Direct College Savings Plan30.46
5West VirginiaSMART529 WV Direct College Savings Plan33.31
6IllinoisBright Start Direct-Sold College Savings Program34.85
7OregonOregon College Savings Plan35.42
8LouisianaSTART Saving Program36.27
9New YorkNew York's 529 College Savings Program -- Direct Plan36.51
10MarylandMaryland 529 -- Maryland Senator Edward J. Kasemeyer College Investment Plan36.73
11MichiganMichigan Education Savings Program (MESP)37.03
12PennsylvaniaPennsylvania 529 Investment Plan37.13
13IndianaCollegeChoice 529 Direct Savings Plan37.49
14NevadaThe Vanguard 529 College Savings Plan38.79
15IowaCollege Savings Iowa38.83
16CaliforniaScholarShare 52939.37
17WisconsinTomorrow's Scholar 529 Plan39.69
18South CarolinaFuture Scholar 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold)40.56
19ColoradoDirect Portfolio College Savings Plan40.94
20District of ColumbiaDC College Savings Plan42.24
21VirginiaInvest52943.00
22North CarolinaNC 529 Plan44.07
23AlabamaCollegeCounts 529 Fund44.10
24KansasLearning Quest 529 Education Savings Program (Direct-sold)44.60
25TexasTexas College Savings Plan45.61
26WashingtonDreamAhead College Investment Plan46.14
27MissouriMOST - Missouri's 529 Education Plan (Direct-sold)46.18
28MinnesotaMinnesota College Savings Plan47.70
29MaineNextGen 529 -- Client Direct Series48.39
30DelawareDE529 Education Savings Plan48.39
31ArizonaAZ529, Arizona’s Education Savings Plan48.43
32MassachusettsU.Fund College Investing Plan48.50
33New HampshireUNIQUE College Investing Plan48.74
34Rhode IslandCollegeBound Saver (Direct-sold)49.64
35FloridaFlorida 529 Savings Plan49.93
36KansasSchwab 529 College Savings Plan50.73
37Utahmy52952.83
38VermontVermont Higher Education Investment Plan53.11
39North DakotaCollege SAVE (Direct)56.97
40IdahoIdaho College Savings Program (IDeal)59.92
41South DakotaCollegeAccess 529 (Direct-sold)60.05
42OklahomaOklahoma College Savings Plan60.32
43ArkansasGIFT College Investing Plan60.40
44HawaiiHawaii's College Savings Program60.59
45New JerseyNJBEST 529 College Savings Plan62.45
46NevadaUSAA 529 College Savings Plan65.01
47NevadaSSGA Upromise 529 Plan75.55
48MississippiMississippi Affordable College Savings (MACS) Program76.05
49West VirginiaSMART529 Select81.51
-ConnecticutConnecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET)N/A
-GeorgiaPath2College 529 PlanN/A
-KentuckyKY Saves 529N/A
-MontanaAchieve MontanaN/A
-NebraskaBloomwell 529 Education Savings PlanN/A
-New MexicoThe Education Plan's College Savings ProgramN/A
-TennesseeTNStars College Savings 529 ProgramN/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.