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

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
35.06%
13.76%
-
-

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
5 of 5

Our rating for non-residents
4.5 of 5
Fees - 0.13%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
35.24%
14.14%
-
-

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
4.5 of 5
Fees - 0.43%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
40.37%
13.85%
-
-

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 - 0.51%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
30.43%
10.95%
-
-

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
41.1%
15.22%
15.45%
-

Why we like this plan

  • Tax deduction on contributions for residents
  • Protection from creditors

DreamAhead College Investment Plan

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

Our rating for non-residents
4 of 5
Fees - 0.26%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
34.19%
13.25%
-
-

Why we like this plan

    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
    32.96%
    13.88%
    -
    -

    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

    my529

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

    Our rating for non-residents
    4.5 of 5
    Fees - 0.15%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    32.89%
    13.56%
    13.01%
    10.09%

    Why we like this plan

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

    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
    36.38%
    14.15%
    -
    -

    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

    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 - 0.47%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    36.54%
    13.84%
    13.41%
    10.32%

    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
    41.12%
    15.22%
    15.46%
    -

    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
    41.12%
    15.22%
    15.46%
    -

    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
    4.5 of 5

    Our rating for non-residents
    4.5 of 5
    Fees - 0.68%
    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

    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
    NO of 5
    Fees - 0.12%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    33.66%
    14.4%
    13.56%
    10.2%

    Why we like this plan

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

    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 - 0.19%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    31.85%
    13.1%
    12.69%
    10.1%

    Why we like this plan

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

    Direct Portfolio College Savings Plan

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

    Our rating for non-residents
    4 of 5
    Fees - 0.31%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    34.91%
    14.29%
    -
    -

    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
    4.5 of 5

    Our rating for non-residents
    4 of 5
    Fees - 0.34%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    30.5%
    -
    -
    -

    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
    4.5 of 5

    Our rating for non-residents
    4 of 5
    Fees - 0.35%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    32.59%
    13.89%
    13.67%
    10.65%

    Why we like this plan

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

    UNIQUE College Investing Plan

    NH
    (resident rating)
    (non-resident rating)
    Our rating for residents
    4 of 5

    Our rating for non-residents
    4 of 5
    Fees - 0.14%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    32.96%
    13.88%
    -
    -

    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

    Fidelity Arizona College Savings Plan

    AZ
    (resident rating)
    (non-resident rating)
    Our rating for residents
    4 of 5

    Our rating for non-residents
    4 of 5
    Fees - 0.14%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    32.96%
    13.88%
    -
    -

    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 of 5

    Our rating for non-residents
    4 of 5
    Fees - 0.14%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    32.99%
    13.89%
    -
    -

    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 of 5

    Our rating for non-residents
    4 of 5
    Fees - 0.2%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    31.78%
    13.07%
    12.66%
    9.91%

    Why we like this plan

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

    NC 529 Plan

    NC
    (resident rating)
    (non-resident rating)
    Our rating for residents
    4 of 5

    Our rating for non-residents
    4 of 5
    Fees - 0.32%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    35.1%
    13.7%
    -
    -

    Why we like this plan

    • Large selection of age-based investment options
    • Low fees

    SSGA Upromise 529 Plan

    NV
    (resident rating)
    (non-resident rating)
    Our rating for residents
    4 of 5

    Our rating for non-residents
    4 of 5
    Fees - 0.39%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    32.9%
    11.88%
    -
    -

    Why we like this plan

    • Large selection of investment options
    • FDIC-insured savings account option
    • Upromise rewards service available

    Schwab 529 College Savings Plan

    KS
    (resident rating)
    (non-resident rating)
    Our rating for residents
    4 of 5

    Our rating for non-residents
    4 of 5
    Fees - 0.87%
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    36.65%
    13.12%
    13.05%
    9.72%

    Why we like this plan

    • Large selection of investment options
    • Upromise rewards service available