Best rated 529 plans of 2020

We assign a rating to each state-sponsored 529 plan ranging from one cap (least attractive) to five caps (most attractive). The 5-Cap Rating represents our analysis of the overall usefulness of a state's 529 plan based on many considerations.

The 5-Cap Rating is not strictly a measure of historical returns and it is not a predictor of future investment performance, level of investment risk, or financial solvency of the program funds.



plan name
state
rating

Ohio’s 529 Plan, CollegeAdvantage

OH
(resident rating)
(non-resident rating)
Our rating for residents

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.19%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
2.34%
-
-
-

Why we like this plan

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

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

NY
(resident rating)
(non-resident rating)
Our rating for residents

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.13%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
2.69%
-
-
-

Why we like this plan

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

Edvest

WI
(resident rating)
(non-resident rating)
Our rating for residents

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.18%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
3.44%
10.1%
7.98%
-

Why we like this plan

  • Tax deduction on contributions for residents
  • Low fees
  • Large selection of investment options

CollegeBound Saver (Direct-sold)

RI
(resident rating)
(non-resident rating)
Our rating for residents

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.34%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
3.59%
8.09%
-
-

Why we like this plan

  • Tax deduction on contributions for residents
  • CollegeBoundbaby grant for qualifying accounts
  • Protection from creditors

Nebraska Education Savings Trust -- Direct College Savings Plan

NE
(resident rating)
(non-resident rating)
Our rating for residents

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.43%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
3.85%
9.96%
7.99%
-

Why we like this plan

  • Large tax deduction on contributions for residents
  • Large selection of investment options
  • Upromise rewards service available

Bright Start Direct-Sold College Savings Program

IL
(resident rating)
(non-resident rating)
Our rating for residents

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.44%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
1.06%
-
-
-

Why we like this plan

  • Large selection of investment options
  • Low fees

DreamAhead College Investment Plan

WA
(resident rating)
(non-resident rating)
Our rating for residents

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.28%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
1.66%
-
-
-

Why we like this plan

    Direct Portfolio College Savings Plan

    CO
    (resident rating)
    (non-resident rating)
    Our rating for residents

    Our rating for non-residents
    Fees - 0.34%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    2.6%
    -
    -
    -

    Why we like this plan

    • Strong long-term performance
    • Residents allowed to deduct full contribution amount from CO state taxes
    • Matching Grant Program with a dollar-for-dollar match for qualifying CO residents

    CollegeChoice 529 Direct Savings Plan

    IN
    (resident rating)
    (non-resident rating)
    Our rating for residents

    Our rating for non-residents
    Fees - 0.39%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    2.69%
    9.76%
    7.62%
    9.68%

    Why we like this plan

    • Large tax credit on contributions for residents
    • Upromise rewards service available

    The Vanguard 529 College Savings Plan

    NV
    (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
    2.1%
    -
    -
    -

    Why we like this plan

    • Strong long-term performance
    • Low fees
    • Upromise rewards service available

    Michigan Education Savings Program (MESP)

    MI
    (resident rating)
    (non-resident rating)
    Our rating for residents

    Our rating for non-residents
    Fees - 0.16%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    4.28%
    8.74%
    7.27%
    -

    Why we like this plan

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

    my529

    UT
    (resident rating)
    (non-resident rating)
    Our rating for residents

    Our rating for non-residents
    Fees - 0.17%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    2.98%
    8.92%
    7.04%
    9.03%

    Why we like this plan

    • Strong long-term performance
    • Low fees
    • Tax credit on contributions for residents

    College Savings Iowa

    IA
    (resident rating)
    (non-resident rating)
    Our rating for residents

    Our rating for non-residents
    Fees - 0.2%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    3.1%
    8.73%
    6.96%
    9.16%

    Why we like this plan

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

    MOST - Missouri's 529 Education Plan (Direct-sold)

    MO
    (resident rating)
    (non-resident rating)
    Our rating for residents

    Our rating for non-residents
    Fees - 0.23%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    3.09%
    8.69%
    6.92%
    8.9%

    Why we like this plan

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

    SSGA Upromise 529 Plan

    NV
    (resident rating)
    (non-resident rating)
    Our rating for residents

    Our rating for non-residents
    Fees - 0.41%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    2.92%
    -
    -
    -

    Why we like this plan

    • Large selection of investment options
    • FDIC-insured savings account option
    • Upromise rewards service available

    NextGen 529 -- Client Direct Series

    ME
    (resident rating)
    (non-resident rating)
    Our rating for residents

    Our rating for non-residents
    Fees - 0.53%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    2.54%
    8.77%
    7.08%
    9.16%

    Why we like this plan

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

    Invest529

    VA
    (resident rating)
    (non-resident rating)
    Our rating for residents

    Our rating for non-residents
    Fees - 0.53%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    1.89%
    -
    -
    -

    Why we like this plan

    • Tax deduction on contributions for residents
    • Socially responsible investment portfolio
    • Protection from creditors

    ScholarShare 529

    CA
    (resident rating)
    (non-resident rating)
    Our rating for residents

    Our rating for non-residents
    Fees - 0.56%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    3.15%
    10.13%
    7.93%
    -

    Why we like this plan

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

    Alaska 529

    AK
    (resident rating)
    (non-resident rating)
    Our rating for residents

    Our rating for non-residents
    Fees - 0.69%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    2.16%
    10.56%
    -
    -

    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

    T. Rowe Price College Savings Plan

    AK
    (resident rating)
    (non-resident rating)
    Our rating for residents

    Our rating for non-residents
    Fees - 0.69%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    2.16%
    10.56%
    -
    -

    Why we like this plan

    • Strong long-term performance
    • Protection from creditors

    Learning Quest 529 Education Savings Program (Direct-sold)

    KS
    (resident rating)
    (non-resident rating)
    Our rating for residents

    Our rating for non-residents
    Fees - 0.79%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    2.85%
    9.44%
    7.43%
    9.67%

    Why we like this plan

    • Large selection of investment options
    • Matching Grant Program for qualifying KS residents
    • Upromise rewards service available

    Fidelity Arizona College Savings Plan

    AZ
    (resident rating)
    (non-resident rating)
    Our rating for residents

    Our rating for non-residents
    Fees - 0.94%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    0.68%
    -
    -
    -

    Why we like this plan

    • Large selection of age-based investment options
    • Account balances excluded for AZ state financial aid purposes
    • Low-cost index fund 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 - 0.12%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    3.26%
    9.18%
    7.18%
    8.9%

    Why we like this plan

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

    Path2College 529 Plan

    GA
    (resident rating)
    (non-resident rating)
    Our rating for residents

    Our rating for non-residents
    Fees - 0.23%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    4.12%
    8.75%
    7.05%
    -

    Why we like this plan

    • Large selection of age-based investment options
    • Tax deduction on contributions for residents

    Pennsylvania 529 Investment Plan

    PA
    (resident rating)
    (non-resident rating)
    Our rating for residents

    Our rating for non-residents
    Fees - 0.24%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    4.76%
    -
    -
    -

    Why we like this plan

    • Strong long-term performance
    • Large selection of age-based investment options
    • Upromise rewards and SAGE Scholars service available