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

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

NY
(resident rating)
(non-resident rating)
Our rating for residents
5 of 5

Our rating for non-residents
5 of 5
Fees - 0.13%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
9.79%
7.71%
-
-

Why we like this plan

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

Ohio's 529 Plan, CollegeAdvantage

OH
(resident rating)
(non-resident rating)
Our rating for residents
5 of 5

Our rating for non-residents
5 of 5
Fees - 0.18%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
9.9%
-
-
-

Why we like this plan

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

my529

UT
(resident rating)
(non-resident rating)
Our rating for residents
5 of 5

Our rating for non-residents
4.5 of 5
Fees - 0.15%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
10.04%
7.34%
9.65%
9.06%

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
5 of 5

Our rating for non-residents
4.5 of 5
Fees - 0.2%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
9.59%
7.08%
9.47%
9.19%

Why we like this plan

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

CollegeCounts 529 Fund

AL
(resident rating)
(non-resident rating)
Our rating for residents
5 of 5

Our rating for non-residents
4.5 of 5
Fees - 0.21%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
9.16%
7.19%
-
-

Why we like this plan

  • Large selection of investment options
  • Large tax deduction on contributions for residents
  • Collegecounts 529 Rewards Visa Card earns you 1.529% on everyday purchases

DreamAhead College Investment Plan

WA
(resident rating)
(non-resident rating)
Our rating for residents
5 of 5

Our rating for non-residents
4.5 of 5
Fees - 0.26%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
9.34%
-
-
-

Why we like this plan

    Direct Portfolio College Savings Plan

    CO
    (resident rating)
    (non-resident rating)
    Our rating for residents
    5 of 5

    Our rating for non-residents
    4.5 of 5
    Fees - 0.32%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    10.67%
    -
    -
    -

    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

    CollegeBound Saver (Direct-sold)

    RI
    (resident rating)
    (non-resident rating)
    Our rating for residents
    5 of 5

    Our rating for non-residents
    4.5 of 5
    Fees - 0.34%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    7.71%
    -
    -
    -

    Why we like this plan

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

    CollegeChoice 529 Direct Savings Plan

    IN
    (resident rating)
    (non-resident rating)
    Our rating for residents
    5 of 5

    Our rating for non-residents
    4.5 of 5
    Fees - 0.36%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    11.09%
    8.26%
    10.5%
    9.83%

    Why we like this plan

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

    SSGA Upromise 529 Plan

    NV
    (resident rating)
    (non-resident rating)
    Our rating for residents
    5 of 5

    Our rating for non-residents
    4.5 of 5
    Fees - 0.41%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    4.95%
    -
    -
    -

    Why we like this plan

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

    Bright Start Direct-Sold College Savings Program

    IL
    (resident rating)
    (non-resident rating)
    Our rating for residents
    5 of 5

    Our rating for non-residents
    4.5 of 5
    Fees - 0.43%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    7.34%
    6.02%
    -
    -

    Why we like this plan

    • Large selection of investment options
    • Low fees

    Nebraska Education Savings Trust -- Direct College Savings Plan

    NE
    (resident rating)
    (non-resident rating)
    Our rating for residents
    5 of 5

    Our rating for non-residents
    4.5 of 5
    Fees - 0.44%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    9.01%
    7.81%
    10.27%
    -

    Why we like this plan

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

    Invest529

    VA
    (resident rating)
    (non-resident rating)
    Our rating for residents
    5 of 5

    Our rating for non-residents
    4.5 of 5
    Fees - 0.5%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    5.71%
    4.48%
    -
    -

    Why we like this plan

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

    Learning Quest 529 Education Savings Program (Direct-sold)

    KS
    (resident rating)
    (non-resident rating)
    Our rating for residents
    5 of 5

    Our rating for non-residents
    4.5 of 5
    Fees - 0.74%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    9.09%
    7.68%
    9.88%
    9.58%

    Why we like this plan

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

    U.Fund College Investing Plan

    MA
    (resident rating)
    (non-resident rating)
    Our rating for residents
    5 of 5

    Our rating for non-residents
    4.5 of 5
    Fees - 0.94%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    11.4%
    7.51%
    -
    -

    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

    The Vanguard 529 College Savings Plan

    NV
    (resident rating)
    (non-resident rating)
    Our rating for residents
    4.5 of 5

    Our rating for non-residents
    4.5 of 5
    Fees - 0.15%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    10.03%
    7.27%
    -
    -

    Why we like this plan

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

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

    MO
    (resident rating)
    (non-resident rating)
    Our rating for residents
    4.5 of 5

    Our rating for non-residents
    4.5 of 5
    Fees - 0.2%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    9.57%
    7.05%
    9.43%
    8.96%

    Why we like this plan

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

    Pennsylvania 529 Investment Plan

    PA
    (resident rating)
    (non-resident rating)
    Our rating for residents
    4.5 of 5

    Our rating for non-residents
    4.5 of 5
    Fees - 0.23%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    8.81%
    -
    -
    -

    Why we like this plan

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

    NC 529 Plan

    NC
    (resident rating)
    (non-resident rating)
    Our rating for residents
    4.5 of 5

    Our rating for non-residents
    4.5 of 5
    Fees - 0.33%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    9.84%
    7.07%
    -
    -

    Why we like this plan

    • Large selection of age-based investment options
    • Low fees

    NextGen 529 -- Client Direct Series

    ME
    (resident rating)
    (non-resident rating)
    Our rating for residents
    4.5 of 5

    Our rating for non-residents
    4.5 of 5
    Fees - 0.5%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    7.8%
    6.43%
    9.01%
    9.09%

    Why we like this plan

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

    Schwab 529 College Savings Plan

    KS
    (resident rating)
    (non-resident rating)
    Our rating for residents
    4.5 of 5

    Our rating for non-residents
    4.5 of 5
    Fees - 0.92%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    9.48%
    6.17%
    8.54%
    8.39%

    Why we like this plan

    • Large selection of investment options
    • Upromise rewards service available

    Delaware College Investment Plan

    DE
    (resident rating)
    (non-resident rating)
    Our rating for residents
    4.5 of 5

    Our rating for non-residents
    4.5 of 5
    Fees - 0.94%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    11.33%
    7.52%
    -
    -

    Why we like this plan

    • Large selection of investment options
    • Fidelity Investments 529 College Rewards American Express Card rebates 2% of purchases
    • Low-cost index fund investment options

    UNIQUE College Investing Plan

    NH
    (resident rating)
    (non-resident rating)
    Our rating for residents
    4.5 of 5

    Our rating for non-residents
    4.5 of 5
    Fees - 0.94%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    11.35%
    7.5%
    -
    -

    Why we like this plan

    • Large selection of investment options
    • Fidelity Investments 529 College Rewards American Express Card rebates 2% of purchases
    • Low-cost index fund investment options

    Fidelity Arizona College Savings Plan

    AZ
    (resident rating)
    (non-resident rating)
    Our rating for residents
    4.5 of 5

    Our rating for non-residents
    4.5 of 5
    Fees - 0.94%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    11.41%
    7.52%
    -
    -

    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
    5 of 5

    Our rating for non-residents
    NO of 5
    Fees - 0.12%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    11.58%
    8.16%
    10.15%
    9.11%

    Why we like this plan

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