Best rated 529 plans of 2022

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

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
5 of 5
Fees - 0.12%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
5.71%
12.97%
11.03%
9.82%

Why we like this plan

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

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 - 0.27%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
2.15%
10.06%
-
-

Why we like this plan

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

CollegeChoice 529 Direct Savings Plan

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

Our rating for non-residents
5 of 5
Fees - 0.28%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
5.56%
12.58%
-
-

Why we like this plan

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

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
4.5 of 5
Fees - 0.12%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
4.9%
12.47%
-
-

Why we like this plan

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

START Saving Program*Open only to state residents

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

Our rating for non-residents
4.5 of 5
Fees - 0.14%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
3.96%
11.51%
10.01%
9.41%

Why we like this plan

  • Strong long-term performance
  • Low fees
  • Tax deduction on contributions for 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 - 0.14%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
3.15%
10.15%
8.9%
-

Why we like this plan

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

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 - 0.4%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
5.62%
12.79%
-
-

Why we like this plan

  • Large selection of investment options
  • Low fees

Invest529

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

Our rating for non-residents
4.5 of 5
Fees - 0.42%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
1.89%
8.88%
7.94%
-

Why we like this plan

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

my529

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

Our rating for non-residents
4.5 of 5
Fees - 0.49%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
-
-
-
-

Why we like this plan

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

Alaska 529

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

Our rating for non-residents
4.5 of 5
Fees - 0.63%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
4.6%
13.6%
11.96%
-

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

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 - 0.65%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
4.62%
13.59%
11.98%
-

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 - 0.68%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
6.84%
13.66%
11.5%
10.35%

Why we like this plan

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

Direct Portfolio College Savings Plan

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

Our rating for non-residents
4 of 5
Fees - 0.29%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
4.76%
12.65%
-
-

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

U.Fund College Investing Plan

MA
(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
4.02%
12.02%
10.71%
-

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

AZ529, Arizona’s Education 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
4.02%
12.02%
10.71%
-

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

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 - 0.19%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
4.09%
11.45%
9.95%
9.34%

Why we like this plan

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

CollegeCounts 529 Fund

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

Our rating for non-residents
4.5 of 5
Fees - 0.21%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
6.57%
12.97%
11.07%
-

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

CollegeAccess 529 (Direct-sold)*Open only to state residents

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

Our rating for non-residents
4.5 of 5
Fees - 0.4%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
8.4%
11.35%
9.1%
7.89%

Why we like this plan

  • Protection from creditors

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 - 0.51%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
5.23%
12.47%
10.53%
9.84%

Why we like this plan

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

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 - 0.63%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
4.6%
13.6%
11.96%
-

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 - 0.87%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
3.86%
12.4%
10.03%
9.19%

Why we like this plan

  • Large selection of investment options
  • Upromise rewards service available

DE529 Education Savings Plan

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

Our rating for non-residents
4 of 5
Fees - 0.14%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
4.02%
12.03%
10.72%
-

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

College Savings Iowa

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

Our rating for non-residents
4 of 5
Fees - 0.18%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
3.94%
11.41%
9.94%
9.38%

Why we like this plan

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

NJBEST 529 College Savings Plan*Open only to state residents

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

Our rating for non-residents
4 of 5
Fees - 0.3%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
2.8%
10.15%
9.19%
8.46%

Why we like this plan

  • Large selection of age-based investment options
  • Protection from creditors

DC College Savings Plan

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

Our rating for non-residents
4 of 5
Fees - 0.34%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
3.54%
9.17%
8.6%
-

Why we like this plan

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