Q3 2018 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, 2018 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
1West VirginiaSMART529 WV Direct College Savings Plan27.82
2AlaskaT. Rowe Price College Savings Plan29.15
2AlaskaUniversity of Alaska College Savings Plan29.15
4CaliforniaScholarShare 52930.69
6NebraskaNebraska Education Savings Trust -- Direct College Savings Plan36.18
7New YorkNew York's 529 College Savings Program -- Direct Plan36.75
8OhioOhio’s 529 Plan, CollegeAdvantage37.57
9NebraskaTD Ameritrade 529 College Savings Plan38.67
10NevadaThe Vanguard 529 College Savings Plan40.36
11MaineNextGen College Investing Plan -- Client Direct Series42.68
12South CarolinaFuture Scholar 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold)42.81
13GeorgiaPath2College 529 Plan43.37
14OklahomaOklahoma College Savings Plan43.85
16KansasLearning Quest 529 Education Savings Program (Direct-sold)44.97
17MarylandMaryland 529 -- Maryland Senator Edward J. Kasemeyer College Investment Plan45.22
18North CarolinaNational College Savings Program46.37
19MissouriMOST - Missouri's 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold)48.95
20IndianaCollegeChoice 529 Direct Savings Plan49.03
21MichiganMichigan Education Savings Program (MESP)49.77
22FloridaFlorida 529 Savings Plan50.07
23NevadaUSAA 529 College Savings Plan50.87
24ColoradoDirect Portfolio College Savings Plan51.85
25TennesseeTNStars College Savings 529 Program52.10
26MinnesotaMinnesota College Savings Plan52.16
27LouisianaSTART Saving Program52.32
28ConnecticutConnecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET)52.44
29New HampshireUNIQUE College Investing Plan52.62
30MassachusettsU.Fund College Investing Plan52.76
31DelawareDelaware College Investment Plan52.84
32ArizonaFidelity Arizona College Savings Plan52.86
33NevadaSSGA Upromise 529 Plan53.40
34IowaCollege Savings Iowa56.51
35KentuckyKentucky Education Savings Plan Trust58.06
36TexasTexas College Savings Plan58.67
37IdahoIdaho College Savings Program (IDeal)58.93
38KansasSchwab 529 College Savings Plan60.04
39ArkansasGIFT College Investing Plan61.08
40HawaiiHawaii's College Savings Program61.09
42South DakotaCollegeAccess 529 (Direct-sold)62.57
43New JerseyNJBEST 529 College Savings Plan63.05
44AlabamaCollegeCounts 529 Fund68.20
45New MexicoThe Education Plan's College Savings Program74.47
46West VirginiaSMART529 Select75.60
47VermontVermont Higher Education Investment Plan75.72
-District of ColumbiaDC College Savings PlanN/A
-IllinoisBright Start Direct-Sold College Savings ProgramN/A
-MississippiMississippi Affordable College Savings (MACS) ProgramN/A
-MontanaAchieve MontanaN/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.