Best rated 529 plans of 2019

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 - 0.45%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
1.06%
-
-
-

Why we like this plan

  • Large selection of investment options
  • Low fees

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

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

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

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 - 0.55%
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

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

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

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

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

Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET)

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

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.29%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
3.1%
-
-
-

Why we like this plan

  • Large tax deduction on contributions for residents
  • Large selection of investment options
  • CHET Baby Scholars grant provides a match for qualifying accounts

CollegeCounts 529 Fund

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

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.3%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
2.93%
9.26%
-
-

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

DC College Savings Plan

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

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.35%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
4.46%
-
-
-

Why we like this plan

  • Large tax deduction on contributions for residents
  • Socially responsible investment portfolios