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
50.1%
12.35%
-
-

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
47.77%
12.17%
-
-

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
47.77%
12.17%
-
-

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
50%
-
-
-

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
56.36%
11.73%
-
-

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
45.81%
11.68%
12.08%
9.49%

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
45.27%
11.24%
11.79%
9.53%

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
50.89%
12.24%
-
-

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
48.37%
9.79%
-
-

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
    50.47%
    12.49%
    -
    -

    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
    43.3%
    -
    -
    -

    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
    47.18%
    12.31%
    12.78%
    10.06%

    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
    44.55%
    10.09%
    -
    -

    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
    43.59%
    8.9%
    -
    -

    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
    59.75%
    13.23%
    14.29%
    -

    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
    52.81%
    12.84%
    13.01%
    10.15%

    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
    47.77%
    12.17%
    -
    -

    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
    47.81%
    12.17%
    -
    -

    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
    45.27%
    11.2%
    11.76%
    9.35%

    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
    34.29%
    -
    -
    -

    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
    49.9%
    11.7%
    -
    -

    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
    51.47%
    11.73%
    12.29%
    9.62%

    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 - 0.65%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    59.78%
    13.24%
    14.32%
    -

    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 - 0.65%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    59.78%
    13.24%
    14.32%
    -

    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
    52.47%
    11.7%
    11.99%
    9.13%

    Why we like this plan

    • Large selection of investment options
    • Upromise rewards service available