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

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
4.57%
-
-
-

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

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

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

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.17%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
3.99%
9.71%
6.85%
11.82%

Why we like this plan

  • Strong long-term performance
  • Low fees
  • Tax credit 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
5.23%
10.77%
7.61%
-

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
3.83%
-
-
-

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
6.02%
10.63%
7.67%
-

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
2.68%
-
-
-

Why we like this plan

  • Large selection of investment options
  • Low fees

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
1.92%
-
-
-

Why we like this plan

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

University of Alaska College Savings Plan

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

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.7%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
3.62%
11.69%
-
-

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
4.32%
-
-
-

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

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
3.26%
-
-
-

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
5.53%
9.19%
6.87%
-

Why we like this plan

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

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
3.47%
9.48%
6.74%
11.72%

Why we like this plan

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

MOST - Missouri's 529 College Savings 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
3.42%
9.45%
6.69%
11.5%

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
3.55%
-
-
-

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
3.17%
9.72%
6.75%
12.08%

Why we like this plan

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

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
4.78%
11.25%
7.67%
-

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 - 0.7%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
3.62%
11.69%
-
-

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
4.54%
10.27%
7.03%
12.42%

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
4.54%
9.86%
6.89%
11.46%

Why we like this plan

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

START Saving Program*Open only to state residents

LA
(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
3.5%
9.53%
6.71%
11.76%

Why we like this plan

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

U.Fund College Investing Plan

MA
(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
4.42%
-
-
-

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

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
4.96%
9.24%
6.67%
-

Why we like this plan

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

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
3.43%
-
-
-

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
4.52%
-
-
-

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