*Three-year performance rankings as of 09/30/2018

The highly anticipated Savingforcollege.com direct-sold 529 plan rankings are here!

529 plans are generally made up of mutual funds with varying investment options. Each quarter, after analyzing data from thousands of underlying investment portfolios, Savingforcollege.com determines the overall top 10 direct-sold 529 plans, based on historical performance. The following slideshow features our most recent top 10 list of the plans that can be purchased directly through the plan manager (without having to go through a financial advisor). See the complete direct-sold ranking list here.

The “performance score” determines the ranking The rankings shown in the slideshow are based on performance over the last three years, giving you a better idea of how the plans fared over time. Note that past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Remember that you can open a 529 plan from almost any state, regardless of where you live. Premium subscribers can view the full list of rankings that includes plans sold through brokers and fee-based financial planners.

1-year rankings
5-year rankings  
10-year rankings

10. Nevada: The Vanguard 529 Savings Plan

Performance score: 40.36
Available to: U.S. citizens and resident aliens at least 18 years old and UGMA/UTMA custodians.
Program manager: Ascensus Broker Dealer Services, Inc. 

9. Nebraska: TD Ameritrade 529 College Savings Plan

Performance score: 38.67
Available to: U.S. resident individuals with a valid Social Security number or taxpayer ID number, UGMA/UTMA custodians, legal entities.
Program manager: First National Bank of Omaha 

8. Ohio: Ohio’s 529 Plan, CollegeAdvantage

Performance score: 37.57
Available to: U.S. citizens and resident aliens, UGMA/UTMA custodians, trusts, and 501(c)(3) organizations.
Program manager: Ohio Tuition Trust Authority 

7. New York: New York’s 529 College Savings Program — Direct Plan

Performance score: 36.75
Available to: U.S. citizens and resident aliens including minors, UGMA/UTMA custodians, and legal entities.
Program manager: Ascensus College Savings

 

6. Nebraska: Nebraska Education Savings Trust – Direct College Savings Plan

Performance score: 36.18
Available to: U.S. resident individuals with a valid Social Security number or taxpayer ID number, UGMA/UTMA custodians, legal entities.
Program manager: First National Bank of Omaha 

5. Wisconsin: Edvest

Performance score: 35.90
Available to: U.S. citizens and resident aliens of legal age, UGMA/UTMA custodians, and legal entities.
Program manager: TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc. 

4. California: ScholarShare 529

Performance score: 30.69
Available to: U.S. citizens and resident aliens at least 18 years old, emancipated minors, UGMA/UTMA custodians, and legal entities.
Program manager: TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc. (TFI) 

2. Alaska: University of Alaska College Savings Plan (tie)

Performance score: 29.15
Available to: U.S. resident individuals of legal age, UGMA/UTMA custodians, and legal entities organized in the U.S.
Program manager: T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. 

2. Alaska: T. Rowe Price College Savings Plan (tie)

Performance score:  29.15
Available to: U.S. resident individuals of legal age, UGMA/UTMA custodians, and legal entities organized in the U.S.
Program manager: T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. 

1. West Virginia: SMART529 WV Direct College Savings Plan

Performance score:  27.82
Available to: U.S. citizens and resident aliens at least 18 years old, UGMA/UTMA custodians, and legal entities.
Program manager: Hartford Life Insurance Company