Best 529 plans of 2021

Find the best 529 college savings plan for your family.

To help you narrow the field, we analyze plans across the country each quarter and identify the best performing 529 plans for you. Whether you're looking for the lowest-fee 529 plans, the top-rated plans, or plans with high returns, these 529 plan rankings are a great place to start.

Wondering how your state's 529 plan compares to other top plans? Select up to three plans for a side-by-side comparison.

Best for my State

Best for my State

Some states offer multiple 529 plans. Below are the best plans in your state. See our methodology for more detailed information.

The manager for the Alabama CollegeCounts 529 Fund direct-sold savings program changed from Van Kampen to Union Bank and Trust Company in August 2010. It features age-based, static and individual fund portfolio options using mutual funds from multiple fund firms.

Our Rating

5 / 5

Fee Score

5 / 5

Performance

4 / 5
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48,875 Clicked to Enroll
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Best Rated

Best Rated

These are the highest-rated 529 plans on the 5-cap rating system, offering individual investors all around excellence. See our methodology for more detailed information.

New York's direct-sold 529 college savings plan is available to residents of any state. It offers low fees and diverse investment options featuring Vanguard mutual funds. New York residents may enjoy a state tax deduction for contributions to the plan.

Our Rating

5 / 5

Fee Score

5 / 5

Performance

5 / 5
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230,693 Clicked to Enroll
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Massachusetts' U.Fund College Investing Plan, a Fidelity-managed 529 plan follows the same approach as other Fidelity plans in Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware and New Hampshire. It features three age-based options; one using Fidelity Series actively managed funds; one using Fidelity Series index funds; and a third using a combination of the two. The plans also offer 11 static options, and one option that invests in an interest-bearing deposit account.

Our Rating

5 / 5

Fee Score

4.5 / 5

Performance

5 / 5
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64,674 Clicked to Enroll
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New Hampshire's UNIQUE College Investing Plan is Fidelity-managed 529 plan follows the same approach as other Fidelity plans in Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware and Massachusetts. It features three age-based options; one using Fidelity Series actively managed funds; one using Fidelity Series index funds; and a third using a combination of the two.The plan also offers 11 static options, and one option that invests in an interest-bearing deposit account.

Our Rating

5 / 5

Fee Score

4.5 / 5

Performance

5 / 5
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37,313 Clicked to Enroll
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The investment menu in Ohio's 529 Plan, CollegeAdvantage, features 3 age-based options and 5 risk-based options using Vanguard funds, a college enrollment-based option and 13 static investment options using Vanguard and DFA funds, and 2 types of FDIC-insured deposit accounts through Fifth Third Bank, National Association. Accounts can be linked to the Upromise rewards service.

Our Rating

5 / 5

Fee Score

5 / 5

Performance

5 / 5
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87,430 Clicked to Enroll
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Union Bank & Trust Company succeeded Oppenheimer Funds, Inc. as program manager of the Bright Start College Savings Program in July 2017. The Illinois direct-sold Plan features three age-based options using either a multi-firm or index-based strategy, three target portfolios, three index target portfolios and individual fund portfolios from a number of fund families.

Our Rating

5 / 5

Fee Score

5 / 5

Performance

4.5 / 5
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Lowest Fees

Lowest Fees

Fees can eat away at your earnings. Here are the lowest fee 529 plans available. See our methodology for more detailed information.

The Vanguard 529 College Savings Plan, offered by Nevada, is available to residents of any state, and offers low costs, experience and easy-to-manage savings options.

Our Rating

4.5 / 5

Fee Score

5 / 5

Performance

2.5 / 5
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Restricted to West Virginia residents

The West Virginia SMART529 WV Direct College Savings Plan, available on a direct basis to those who meet certain West Virginia residency requirements, features a menu of age-based and static portfolio options utilizing index funds from Vanguard as well as an Invesco stable value portfolio option. Accounts can be linked to the Upromise rewards service.

Our Rating

5 / 5

Fee Score

5 / 5

Performance

5 / 5
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Restricted to Florida residents

The Florida 529 Savings Plan is administered by the Florida Prepaid College Board. In September 2019 the Board enhanced the plan with expanded investment options, reduced fees, and additional investment managers. The plan offers an age-based option with a 16 step glidepath, six static options, and 15 individual funds.

Our Rating

4.5 / 5

Fee Score

5 / 5

Performance

4 / 5
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Restricted to South Carolina residents

The Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan is only available to residents of South Carolina. It offers investment options from Columbia and Vanguard and a $426,000 contribution limit. Residents of South Carolina may enjoy a state tax deduction for contributions to the plan.

Our Rating

5 / 5

Fee Score

5 / 5

Performance

4 / 5
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73,353 Clicked to Enroll
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Wisconsin's Edvest is a direct-sold 529 college savings plan available to residents of any state, and offers low minimums and a variety of investment options from TIAA-CREF, T. Rowe Price and others. Wisconsin residents may enjoy a state tax deduction for contributions to the plan.

Our Rating

4.5 / 5

Fee Score

5 / 5

Performance

4.5 / 5
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Best Performance

Best Performance

These 529 plans had the highest returns over the past 5-year period.

The investment menu in Ohio's 529 Plan, CollegeAdvantage, features 3 age-based options and 5 risk-based options using Vanguard funds, a college enrollment-based option and 13 static investment options using Vanguard and DFA funds, and 2 types of FDIC-insured deposit accounts through Fifth Third Bank, National Association. Accounts can be linked to the Upromise rewards service.

Our Rating

5 / 5

Fee Score

5 / 5

Performance

5 / 5
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87,430 Clicked to Enroll
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Restricted to West Virginia residents

The West Virginia SMART529 WV Direct College Savings Plan, available on a direct basis to those who meet certain West Virginia residency requirements, features a menu of age-based and static portfolio options utilizing index funds from Vanguard as well as an Invesco stable value portfolio option. Accounts can be linked to the Upromise rewards service.

Our Rating

5 / 5

Fee Score

5 / 5

Performance

5 / 5
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New York's direct-sold 529 college savings plan is available to residents of any state. It offers low fees and diverse investment options featuring Vanguard mutual funds. New York residents may enjoy a state tax deduction for contributions to the plan.

Our Rating

5 / 5

Fee Score

5 / 5

Performance

5 / 5
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230,693 Clicked to Enroll
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The Vanguard 529 College Savings Plan, offered by Nevada, is available to residents of any state, and offers low costs, experience and easy-to-manage savings options.

Our Rating

4.5 / 5

Fee Score

5 / 5

Performance

2.5 / 5
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In September 2008, Upromise Investments, Inc., which was acquired by Ascensus College Savings in 2013, took over the management of the Indiana CollegeChoice 529 Direct Savings Plan from JPMorgan, and it now features a year of enrollment option using Vanguard index and Loomis Sayles funds, seven individual portfolios using a variety of investment managers, and an FDIC-insured savings account from NexBank. Accounts can be linked to the Upromise Rewards service.

Our Rating

4.5 / 5

Fee Score

4.5 / 5

Performance

5 / 5
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58,017 Clicked to Enroll
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