Q4 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 December 31, 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 Plan26.10
2CaliforniaScholarShare 52928.54
3OhioOhio’s 529 Plan, CollegeAdvantage28.97
4New YorkNew York's 529 College Savings Program -- Direct Plan29.28
5AlaskaT. Rowe Price College Savings Plan29.85
5AlaskaUniversity of Alaska College Savings Plan29.85
7NevadaThe Vanguard 529 College Savings Plan32.00
9South CarolinaFuture Scholar 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold)34.19
11LouisianaSTART Saving Program37.25
12MissouriMOST - Missouri's 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold)37.43
13NebraskaNebraska Education Savings Trust -- Direct College Savings Plan37.93
14North CarolinaNational College Savings Program38.26
15KansasLearning Quest 529 Education Savings Program (Direct-sold)41.66
16MarylandMaryland 529 -- Maryland Senator Edward J. Kasemeyer College Investment Plan41.76
17MaineNextGen College Investing Plan -- Client Direct Series42.65
18GeorgiaPath2College 529 Plan43.18
19NebraskaTD Ameritrade 529 College Savings Plan43.26
20DelawareDelaware College Investment Plan44.31
21ArizonaFidelity Arizona College Savings Plan44.53
22New HampshireUNIQUE College Investing Plan44.61
23IowaCollege Savings Iowa44.66
24MassachusettsU.Fund College Investing Plan44.85
25MichiganMichigan Education Savings Program (MESP)45.32
26ColoradoDirect Portfolio College Savings Plan45.47
27IndianaCollegeChoice 529 Direct Savings Plan46.07
28TennesseeTNStars College Savings 529 Program46.71
29NevadaUSAA 529 College Savings Plan47.65
30MinnesotaMinnesota College Savings Plan49.62
31ConnecticutConnecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET)49.77
32NevadaSSGA Upromise 529 Plan49.84
33OklahomaOklahoma College Savings Plan50.62
34IdahoIdaho College Savings Program (IDeal)54.06
35FloridaFlorida 529 Savings Plan54.43
36ArkansasGIFT College Investing Plan55.07
38TexasTexas College Savings Plan56.84
39KentuckyKY Saves 52957.70
40AlabamaCollegeCounts 529 Fund62.61
41HawaiiHawaii's College Savings Program63.24
42KansasSchwab 529 College Savings Plan68.02
43New JerseyNJBEST 529 College Savings Plan68.48
44South DakotaCollegeAccess 529 (Direct-sold)70.55
45VermontVermont Higher Education Investment Plan71.13
46New MexicoThe Education Plan's College Savings Program74.46
47West VirginiaSMART529 Select76.09
48MontanaAchieve Montana78.42
-District of ColumbiaDC College Savings PlanN/A
-IllinoisBright Start Direct-Sold College Savings ProgramN/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.