Q3 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 September 30, 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
1IndianaCollegeChoice 529 Direct Savings Plan21.72
2New YorkNew York's 529 College Savings Program -- Direct Plan23.81
3West VirginiaSMART529 WV Direct College Savings Plan25.91
4LouisianaSTART Saving Program26.68
5NevadaThe Vanguard 529 College Savings Plan26.99
6PennsylvaniaPennsylvania 529 Investment Plan27.83
7IowaCollege Savings Iowa27.95
8ColoradoDirect Portfolio College Savings Plan28.49
9OhioOhio's 529 Plan, CollegeAdvantage31.80
10North CarolinaNC 529 Plan31.98
11MissouriMOST - Missouri's 529 Education Plan (Direct-sold)32.02
12DelawareDelaware College Investment Plan32.51
13ArizonaFidelity Arizona College Savings Plan32.61
14MassachusettsU.Fund College Investing Plan32.68
15MichiganMichigan Education Savings Program (MESP)32.73
16New HampshireUNIQUE College Investing Plan32.78
17NebraskaNebraska Education Savings Trust -- Direct College Savings Plan35.24
18KansasLearning Quest 529 Education Savings Program (Direct-sold)35.58
19Utahmy52937.45
20South CarolinaFuture Scholar 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold)38.11
21WisconsinEdvest38.40
22FloridaFlorida 529 Savings Plan38.54
23IllinoisBright Start Direct-Sold College Savings Program38.94
24AlabamaCollegeCounts 529 Fund40.60
25CaliforniaScholarShare 52941.66
26Rhode IslandCollegeBound Saver (Direct-sold)43.38
27MinnesotaMinnesota College Savings Plan44.25
28District of ColumbiaDC College Savings Plan45.84
29IdahoIdaho College Savings Program (IDeal)46.58
30MaineNextGen 529 -- Client Direct Series47.28
31North DakotaCollege SAVE (Direct)47.31
32VirginiaInvest52947.88
33TexasTexas College Savings Plan48.61
34HawaiiHawaii's College Savings Program48.92
35AlaskaT. Rowe Price College Savings Plan48.94
35AlaskaAlaska 52948.94
37New JerseyNJBEST 529 College Savings Plan49.44
38ArkansasGIFT College Investing Plan49.49
39KansasSchwab 529 College Savings Plan51.52
40OklahomaOklahoma College Savings Plan53.70
41MarylandMaryland 529 -- Maryland Senator Edward J. Kasemeyer College Investment Plan55.17
42VermontVermont Higher Education Investment Plan58.18
43NevadaSSGA Upromise 529 Plan63.00
44ConnecticutConnecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET)68.22
45MississippiMississippi Affordable College Savings (MACS) Program72.19
46South DakotaCollegeAccess 529 (Direct-sold)74.89
47NevadaUSAA 529 College Savings Plan81.95
48West VirginiaSMART529 Select85.25
-GeorgiaPath2College 529 PlanN/A
-KentuckyKY Saves 529N/A
-MontanaAchieve MontanaN/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.