Best 529 plans of 2018

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.

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Best Rated

Best Rated

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


Plan Name
State
Rating

New York's 529 College Savings Program -- Direct Plan

NY
(Resident Rating)
(Non-Resident Rating)
Enroll Now
135,971 clicked to enroll
Our rating for residents

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.15%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
-
-
-
-

Why we like this plan

  • Strong long-term performance
  • Low fees
  • Large tax deduction on contributions for residents

NextGen College Investing Plan -- Client Direct Series

ME
(Resident Rating)
(Non-Resident Rating)
Enroll Now
38,158 clicked to enroll
Our rating for residents

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.52%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
12.4%
7.58%
9.62%
6.72%

Why we like this plan

  • Strong long-term performance
  • Low fees
  • Matching Grants for qualifying accounts

ScholarShare 529

CA
(Resident Rating)
(Non-Resident Rating)
Our rating for residents

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.55%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
14.33%
8.45%
10.20%
-

Why we like this plan

  • Strong long-term performance
  • Low fees
  • Large selection of investment options

SMART529 WV Direct College Savings Plan*Open only to state residents

WV
(Resident Rating)
(Non-Resident Rating)
Our rating for residents

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.07%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
11.95%
7.52%
8.92%
6.41%

Why we like this plan

  • Residents allowed to deduct full contribution amount from WV state taxes
  • Strong long-term performance
  • Low fees

Michigan Education Savings Program

MI
(Resident Rating)
(Non-Resident Rating)
Our rating for residents

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.15%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
10.17%
6.79%
8.63%
-

Why we like this plan

  • Strong long-term performance
  • Low fees
  • Large selection of age-based investment options

Best Plan for my State

Best Plan for my State

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


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.


Plan Name
State
Rating

SMART529 WV Direct College Savings Plan*Open only to state residents

WV
(Resident Rating)
(Non-Resident Rating)
Our rating for residents

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.07%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
11.95%
7.52%
8.92%
6.41%

Why we like this plan

  • Residents allowed to deduct full contribution amount from WV state taxes
  • Strong long-term performance
  • Low fees

U.Fund College Investing Plan

MA
(Resident Rating)
(Non-Resident Rating)
Enroll Now
37,070 clicked to enroll
Our rating for residents

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.13%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
13.33%
-
-
-

Why we like this plan

  • Large selection of investment options
  • Tax deduction on contributions for residents
  • Fidelity Investments 529 College Rewards American Express Card rebates 2% of purchases

Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold)*Open only to state residents

SC
(Resident Rating)
(Non-Resident Rating)
Enroll Now
38,072 clicked to enroll
Our rating for residents

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.13%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
11.39%
7.99%
9.66%
7.24%

Why we like this plan

  • Strong long-term performance
  • Low fees
  • Residents allowed to deduct full contribution amount from SC state taxes

New York's 529 College Savings Program -- Direct Plan

NY
(Resident Rating)
(Non-Resident Rating)
Enroll Now
135,971 clicked to enroll
Our rating for residents

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.15%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
-
-
-
-

Why we like this plan

  • Strong long-term performance
  • Low fees
  • Large tax deduction on contributions for residents

Michigan Education Savings Program

MI
(Resident Rating)
(Non-Resident Rating)
Our rating for residents

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.15%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
10.17%
6.79%
8.63%
-

Why we like this plan

  • Strong long-term performance
  • Low fees
  • Large selection of age-based investment options

Best Performance

Best Performance

These 529 plans had the highest returns over the past 1-year period. To create this list of best performing 529 plans, we compared the returns for a moderate risk, age-based portfolio across plans. See our methodology for more detailed information.


Plan Name
State
Rating

Maryland 529 -- College Investment Plan

MD
(Resident Rating)
(Non-Resident Rating)
Our rating for residents

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.7%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
15.90%
-
-
-

Why we like this plan

  • Tax deduction on contributions for residents
  • Protection from creditors

T. Rowe Price College Savings Plan

AK
(Resident Rating)
(Non-Resident Rating)
Enroll Now
45,269 clicked to enroll
Our rating for residents

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.72%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
15.85%
-
-
-

Why we like this plan

  • Strong long-term performance
  • Protection from creditors

University of Alaska College Savings Plan

AK
(Resident Rating)
(Non-Resident Rating)
Enroll Now
28,959 clicked to enroll
Our rating for residents

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.72%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
15.85%
-
-
-

Why we like this plan

  • Strong long-term performance
  • Tuition-value guarantee for University of Alaska students invested in the ACT portfolio
  • Protection from creditors

SMART529 Select

WV
(Resident Rating)
(Non-Resident Rating)
Our rating for residents

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.72%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
14.36%
8.46%
10.19%
7.55%

Why we like this plan

  • Residents allowed to deduct full contribution amount from WV state taxes
  • Upromise rewards service available

ScholarShare 529

CA
(Resident Rating)
(Non-Resident Rating)
Our rating for residents

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.55%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
14.33%
8.45%
10.20%
-

Why we like this plan

  • Strong long-term performance
  • Low fees
  • Large selection of investment options

FDIC Insured

FDIC Insured

Are you a more conservative investor? These plans offer FDIC-insured or CD investment options. See our methodology for more detailed information.


Plan Name
State
Rating

Arizona Family College Savings Program

AZ
(Resident Rating)
(Non-Resident Rating)
Enroll Now
12,198 clicked to enroll
Our rating for residents

Our rating for non-residents
3 month yield:
N/A
6 month yield:
N/A
12 month yield:
1.25%
24 month yield:
1.45%
36 month yield:
1.55%

Why we like this plan

  • CD investments for investors looking for guaranteed returns
  • Tax deduction on contributions for residents

Ohio’s 529 Plan, CollegeAdvantage

OH
(Resident Rating)
(Non-Resident Rating)
Enroll Now
47,691 clicked to enroll
Our rating for residents

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - N/A
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
-
-
-
-

Why we like this plan

  • Strong long-term performance
  • Low fees
  • Large tax deduction on contributions for residents

CollegeChoice CD 529 Savings Plan

IN
(Resident Rating)
(Non-Resident Rating)
Enroll Now
11,000 clicked to enroll
Our rating for residents

Our rating for non-residents
3 month yield:
N/A
6 month yield:
N/A
12 month yield:
1.25%
24 month yield:
1.45%
36 month yield:
1.55%

Why we like this plan

  • CD investments for investors looking for guaranteed returns
  • Large tax credit on contributions for residents