Best rated 529 plans of 2021

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
15.92%
10.52%
-
-

Why we like this plan

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

U.Fund College Investing Plan

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

Our rating for non-residents
5 of 5
Fees - 0.14%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
16.37%
10.59%
-
-

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

UNIQUE College Investing Plan

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

Our rating for non-residents
5 of 5
Fees - 0.14%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
16.45%
10.62%
-
-

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

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 - 0.17%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
15.9%
-
-
-

Why we like this plan

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

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
5 of 5
Fees - 0.43%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
14.41%
9.38%
-
-

Why we like this plan

  • Large selection of investment options
  • Low fees

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
15.56%
9.97%
11.41%
9.52%

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 - 0.19%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
15.14%
9.69%
11.21%
9.63%

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
15.33%
10.05%
-
-

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
15.15%
-
-
-

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
    16.71%
    -
    -
    -

    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
    13.7%
    -
    -
    -

    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 - 0.35%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    16.32%
    10.67%
    12.1%
    10.16%

    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 - 0.39%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    11.23%
    8.02%
    -
    -

    Why we like this plan

    • Large selection of investment options
    • FDIC-insured savings account option
    • 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
    12.77%
    7.35%
    -
    -

    Why we like this plan

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

    Maryland 529 -- Maryland Senator Edward J. Kasemeyer College Investment Plan

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

    Our rating for non-residents
    4.5 of 5
    Fees - 0.58%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    16.83%
    11.08%
    13.03%
    -

    Why we like this plan

    • Tax deduction on contributions for residents
    • 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
    15.43%
    10.67%
    11.84%
    10.03%

    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
    4.5 of 5

    Our rating for non-residents
    4.5 of 5
    Fees - 0.14%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    16.37%
    10.59%
    -
    -

    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

    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 - 0.14%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    16.38%
    10.59%
    -
    -

    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

    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
    15.16%
    9.67%
    11.19%
    9.43%

    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
    13.38%
    -
    -
    -

    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 - 0.32%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    15.95%
    9.94%
    -
    -

    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
    14.63%
    9.59%
    11.04%
    9.6%

    Why we like this plan

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

    Alaska 529

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

    Our rating for non-residents
    4.5 of 5
    Fees - 0.58%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    16.87%
    11.1%
    13.04%
    -

    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
    4.5 of 5

    Our rating for non-residents
    4.5 of 5
    Fees - 0.58%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    16.87%
    11.1%
    13.04%
    -

    Why we like this plan

    • Strong long-term performance
    • Protection from creditors

    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
    16.75%
    9.57%
    10.73%
    8.91%

    Why we like this plan

    • Large selection of investment options
    • Upromise rewards service available