Q1 2024 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, 2024 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 JerseyNJBEST 529 College Savings Plan15.49
2South DakotaCollegeAccess 529 (Direct-sold)19.40
3West VirginiaSMART529 WV Direct College Savings Plan25.42
4WisconsinEdvest 52926.43
6NevadaUSAA 529 Education Savings Plan27.62
7GeorgiaPath2College 529 Plan27.77
8KansasLearning Quest 529 Education Savings Program (Direct-sold)28.65
9South CarolinaFuture Scholar 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold)31.72
10NebraskaBloomwell 529 Education Savings Plan32.98
11MinnesotaMinnesota College Savings Plan33.20
12MichiganMichigan Education Savings Program (MESP)34.73
13MarylandMaryland 529 -- Maryland Senator Edward J. Kasemeyer College Investment Plan35.39
14CaliforniaScholarShare 52936.85
15District of ColumbiaDC College Savings Plan37.40
16New MexicoThe Education Plan's College Savings Program37.48
17IllinoisBright Start Direct-Sold College Savings Program39.69
18MaineNextGen 529 -- Client Direct Series39.78
19KansasSchwab 529 College Savings Plan40.26
20AlaskaT. Rowe Price College Savings Plan40.39
20AlaskaAlaska 52940.39
22OklahomaOklahoma 52940.87
23West VirginiaSMART529 Select41.77
24FloridaFlorida 529 Savings Plan41.82
25AlabamaCollegeCounts 529 Fund42.06
27IndianaIndiana529 Direct Savings Plan49.49
28NebraskaNebraska Education Savings Trust -- Direct College Savings Plan50.78
29KentuckyKY Saves 52951.68
30MontanaAchieve Montana53.38
31IdahoIdaho College Savings Program (IDeal)53.76
32OhioOhio's 529 Plan, CollegeAdvantage54.26
33VermontVermont Higher Education Investment Plan56.45
34MassachusettsU.Fund College Investing Plan57.51
35New HampshireUNIQUE College Investing Plan57.65
36ConnecticutConnecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET)57.66
37New YorkNew York's 529 College Savings Program -- Direct Plan61.95
38NevadaThe Vanguard 529 College Savings Plan64.23
39HawaiiHawaii's College Savings Program64.28
40PennsylvaniaPennsylvania 529 Investment Plan65.05
41OregonOregon College Savings Plan65.11
42Rhode IslandCollegeBound Saver (Direct-sold)66.57
43DelawareDE529 Education Savings Plan66.79
44WashingtonDreamAhead College Investment Plan66.80
45MissouriMOST - Missouri's 529 Education Plan (Direct-sold)66.85
46IowaCollege Savings Iowa67.05
47ArizonaAZ529, Arizona's Education Savings Plan67.05
48LouisianaSTART Saving Program67.53
49ColoradoDirect Portfolio College Savings Plan70.89
50TennesseeTNStars College Savings 529 Program72.16
51North DakotaCollege SAVE (Direct)72.21
52North CarolinaNC 529 Plan73.62
53MississippiMississippi Affordable College Savings (MACS) Program79.05
-ArkansasArkansas Brighter Future Direct PlanN/A
-TexasTexas College Savings 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.