Best rated 529 plans of 2023

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
-19.77%
4.99%
-
-

Why we like this plan

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

The Education Plan's College Savings Program

NM
(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
-19.77%
-
-
-

Why we like this plan

  • Strong long-term performance
  • Large selection of investment options
  • Residents allowed to deduct full contribution amount from NM state taxes

Nebraska Education Savings Trust -- Direct College Savings Plan

NE
(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
-19.33%
-
-
-

Why we like this plan

  • Large tax deduction on contributions for residents
  • Large selection of investment options
  • Upromise rewards service available

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
-20.86%
-
-
-

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
-
-
-
-

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
-19.9%
3.16%
4.56%
-

Why we like this plan

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

Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold)*Open only to state residents

SC
(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
-16.93%
4.22%
5.24%
7.95%

Why we like this plan

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

my529

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

Our rating for non-residents
4.5 of 5
Fees - 0.14%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
-20.55%
-
-
-

Why we like this plan

  • Strong long-term performance
  • Low fees
  • Tax credit 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 - 0.15%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
-19.62%
-
-
-

Why we like this plan

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

Bloomwell 529 Education Savings Plan

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

Our rating for non-residents
4.5 of 5
Fees - 0.18%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
-19.53%
-
-
-

Why we like this plan

  • Large tax deduction on contributions for residents
  • Large selection of investment options
  • 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 - 0.38%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
-20.45%
3.67%
4.35%
-

Why we like this plan

  • Large selection of investment options
  • Low fees

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 - 0.64%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
-17.04%
6.13%
-
-

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 - 0.64%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
-22.02%
3.61%
-
-

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
-18.61%
4.23%
5.33%
7.85%

Why we like this plan

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

Oregon College Savings Plan

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

Our rating for non-residents
4 of 5
Fees - 0.25%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
-20.19%
-
-
-

Why we like this plan

  • Large tax deduction on contributions for residents
  • Guaranteed rate of interest investment option
  • Protection from creditors

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
-20.07%
3.3%
-
-

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

NJBEST 529 College Savings Plan*Open only to state residents

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

Our rating for non-residents
4 of 5
Fees - 0.3%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
-20.28%
1.98%
3.61%
6.38%

Why we like this plan

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

SMART529 Select

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

Our rating for non-residents
4 of 5
Fees - 0.63%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
-18.84%
4.3%
3.93%
7.86%

Why we like this plan

  • Residents allowed to deduct full contribution amount from WV state taxes
  • Upromise rewards service available

The Vanguard 529 College Savings Plan

NV
(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
-
-
-
-

Why we like this plan

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

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
-19.39%
2.64%
3.9%
6.88%

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
-19.54%
3.52%
4.59%
-

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

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 - 0.22%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
-
-
-
-

Why we like this plan

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

TNStars College Savings 529 Program

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

Our rating for non-residents
4.5 of 5
Fees - 0.25%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
-20.97%
3.94%
-
-

Why we like this plan

  • Strong long-term performance
  • Low fees
  • Tennessee Investments Preparing Scholars Program for qualifying accounts

KY Saves 529

KY
(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
-19.79%
-
-
-

Why we like this plan

  • Guaranteed investment option with minimum rate of return
  • 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 - 0.49%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
-21.36%
2.67%
3.89%
7.14%

Why we like this plan

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