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

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
24.4%
-
-
-

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
25.1%
-
-
-

Why we like this plan

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

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
23.72%
10.75%
8%
-

Why we like this plan

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

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
25.94%
12.25%
8.92%
-

Why we like this plan

  • Tax deduction on contributions for residents
  • Low fees
  • Large selection of 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
23.16%
10.95%
7.96%
9.48%

Why we like this plan

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

DreamAhead College Investment Plan

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

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.26%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
24.36%
-
-
-

Why we like this plan

    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
    21.34%
    9.85%
    -
    -

    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

    Our rating for non-residents
    Fees - 0.38%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    24.5%
    11.62%
    8.58%
    9.94%

    Why we like this plan

    • Large tax credit on contributions for residents
    • 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 - 0.44%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    24.82%
    -
    -
    -

    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

    Our rating for non-residents
    Fees - 0.44%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    24.28%
    11.87%
    8.79%
    -

    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

    Our rating for non-residents
    Fees - 0.51%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    18.43%
    9.15%
    -
    -

    Why we like this plan

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

    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
    27.84%
    13.19%
    -
    -

    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

    U.Fund College Investing Plan

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

    Our rating for non-residents
    Fees - 0.94%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    27.83%
    13.14%
    -
    -

    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

    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
    25.11%
    -
    -
    -

    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
    25.05%
    -
    -
    -

    Why we like this plan

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

    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
    23.04%
    10.97%
    8.07%
    9.36%

    Why we like this plan

    • Strong long-term performance
    • Low fees
    • Tax credit 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
    23.14%
    10.9%
    7.91%
    9.24%

    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 - 0.23%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    19.83%
    -
    -
    -

    Why we like this plan

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

    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
    22.41%
    -
    -
    -

    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
    23.83%
    10.91%
    7.97%
    9.42%

    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 - 0.54%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    22.59%
    11.95%
    8.78%
    -

    Why we like this plan

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

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

    MD
    (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
    27.86%
    13.17%
    -
    -

    Why we like this plan

    • Tax deduction on contributions for residents
    • Protection from creditors

    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
    27.84%
    13.19%
    -
    -

    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
    26.78%
    11.77%
    8.35%
    9.94%

    Why we like this plan

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

    Delaware College Investment Plan

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

    Our rating for non-residents
    Fees - 0.94%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    27.85%
    13.12%
    -
    -

    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