Lowest fee 529 plans of 2018

These plans have the lowest total expense ratio based upon a moderate-risk age-based portfolio for a newborn. Some states have different fees for residents vs. non-residents. Non-resident expense ratios are always used, so please check with your state plan to see if they offer a resident discount.

NOTE: In some cases, a single program manager runs plans in multiple states with the same investment options. In these cases, only one of their plans will be shown.



plan name
state
rating

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

SC
(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
11.21%
12.80%
9.78%
9.22%

Why we like this plan

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

START Saving Program*Open only to state residents

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

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.16%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
8.69%
11.65%
8.67%
8.35%

Why we like this plan

  • Strong long-term performance
  • Low fees
  • 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 - 0.15%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
8.9%
11.24%
8.64%
-

Why we like this plan

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

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 - 0.13%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
9.82%
12.07%
8.83%
8.48%

Why we like this plan

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

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
10.85%
-
-
-

Why we like this plan

  • Strong long-term performance
  • Low fees
  • Large tax deduction 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
10.79%
13.20%
9.77%
-

Why we like this plan

  • Tax deduction on contributions for residents
  • Low fees
  • Large selection of investment options

ScholarShare 529

CA
(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
10.38%
13.01%
9.62%
-

Why we like this plan

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

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
10.43%
-
-
-

Why we like this plan

  • Large selection of investment options
  • Low fees

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
7.64%
-
-
-

Why we like this plan

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

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
8.67%
11.64%
8.7%
8.68%

Why we like this plan

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

The Education Plan's College Savings Program

NM
(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
-
-
-
-

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

Path2College 529 Plan

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

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.24%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
8.92%
11.17%
8.38%
-

Why we like this plan

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

Invest529

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

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.58%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
5.89%
-
-
-

Why we like this plan

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

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
9.16%
11.84%
8.75%
8.92%

Why we like this plan

  • Strong long-term performance
  • Low fees
  • Tax credit 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

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
9.87%
-
-
-

Why we like this plan

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

Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET)*Open only to state residents

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

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.27%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
7.66%
-
-
-

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

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
9.07%
11.68%
9.04%
8.54%

Why we like this plan

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

MOST - Missouri's 529 Savings Plan (Direct-sold)

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

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.22%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
8.61%
11.58%
8.64%
8.49%

Why we like this plan

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

CollegeAccess 529 (Direct-sold)*Open only to state residents

SD
(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
5.13%
9.68%
6.17%
7.04%

Why we like this plan

  • Protection from creditors

TNStars College Savings 529 Program

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

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.35%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
11.26%
15.40%
12.08%
-

Why we like this plan

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

Schwab 529 College Savings Plan

KS
(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
9.83%
11.39%
8.12%
8.66%

Why we like this plan

  • Large selection of investment options
  • Upromise rewards service available

Oregon College Savings Plan

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

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - N/A
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
-
-
-
-

Why we like this plan

  • Large tax deduction on contributions for residents
  • Guaranteed rate of interest investment option
  • 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
11.31%
12.6%
9.36%
9.04%

Why we like this plan

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

Maryland 529 -- College Investment Plan

MD
(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
10.97%
-
-
-

Why we like this plan

  • Tax deduction on contributions for residents
  • 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
11.02%
14.44%
-
-

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

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.7%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
11.02%
14.44%
-
-

Why we like this plan

  • Strong long-term performance
  • Protection from creditors

Minnesota College Savings Plan

MN
(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
9.21%
11.58%
-
-

Why we like this plan

  • Tax deduction on contributions for residents
  • Low fees

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
10.12%
-
-
-

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

National College Savings Program

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

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.33%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
9.35%
-
-
-

Why we like this plan

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

Vermont Higher Education Investment Plan

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

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.39%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
6.88%
10.28%
-
-

Why we like this plan

  • Tax credit on contributions for residents
  • Low fees

NJBEST 529 College Savings Plan*Open only to state residents

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

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.8%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
8.66%
9.89%
7.35%
-

Why we like this plan

  • Large selection of age-based investment options
  • 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
10.68%
12.92%
9.59%
-

Why we like this plan

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

Fidelity Arizona College Savings Plan

AZ
(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
11.15%
-
-
-

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

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
11.15%
-
-
-

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

Delaware College Investment Plan

DE
(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
11.16%
-
-
-

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

UNIQUE College Investing Plan

NH
(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
11.16%
-
-
-

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

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
11.24%
13.04%
9.6%
8.9%

Why we like this plan

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

Pennsylvania 529 Investment Plan

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

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.24%
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

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
-
-
-
-

Why we like this plan

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

DC College Savings Plan

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

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.35%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
8.67%
-
-
-

Why we like this plan

  • Large tax deduction on contributions for residents
  • Socially responsible investment portfolios

GIFT College Investing Plan

AR
(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
7.75%
10.69%
7.88%
8.25%

Why we like this plan

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

USAA 529 College Savings Plan

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

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 1.08%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
7.85%
13.05%
-
-

Why we like this plan

  • USAA Distinguished Valor Matching Grant Program for qualifying accounts
  • Upromise rewards service available
  • Protection from creditors

Oklahoma College Savings Plan

OK
(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
9.44%
11.70%
8.62%
8.41%

Why we like this plan

  • Strong long-term performance
  • Large tax deduction on contributions for residents
  • Large selection of age-based investment options

Direct Portfolio College Savings Plan

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

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.33%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
-
-
-
-

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

SMART529 Select

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

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.72%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
9.18%
13.60%
8.91%
9.31%

Why we like this plan

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

Kentucky Education Savings Plan Trust

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

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.6%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
8.12%
-
-
-

Why we like this plan

  • Guaranteed investment option with minimum rate of return
  • Protection from creditors

Texas College Savings Plan

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

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.93%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
9.18%
13.23%
8.67%
7.81%

Why we like this plan

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

TD Ameritrade 529 College Savings Plan

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

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.62%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
10.43%
12.6%
9.28%
-

Why we like this plan

  • Large tax deduction on contributions for residents
  • Large selection of investment options
  • Protection from creditors

Florida 529 Savings Plan

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

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.67%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
12.77%
13.66%
10.51%
10%

Why we like this plan

  • Strong long-term performance
  • Protection from creditors

Idaho College Savings Program (IDeal)

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

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.50%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
9.12%
-
-
-

Why we like this plan

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

College SAVE (Direct)

ND
(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
-
-
-
-

Why we like this plan

  • Large selection of age-based investment options
  • Large tax deduction on contributions for residents
  • Matching Grants for qualifying accounts

Mississippi Affordable College Savings (MACS) Program

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

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.68%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
6.79%
-
-
-

Why we like this plan

  • Large tax deduction on contributions for residents
  • Guaranteed investment option with minimum rate of return

Achieve Montana

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

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.8%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
8.89%
-
-
-

Why we like this plan

  • Upromise rewards service available
  • Waived account maintenance fee is beneficiary is MT resident

Hawaii's College Savings Program

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

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.75%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
9.62%
11.20%
8.61%
8.61%

Why we like this plan

  • Strong long-term performance
  • Upromise rewards service available

CollegeChoice CD 529 Savings Plan

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

Our rating for non-residents
3 month yield:
N/A
6 month yield:
N/A
12 month yield:
1.25%
24 month yield:
1.45%
36 month yield:
1.55%

Why we like this plan

  • CD investments for investors looking for guaranteed returns
  • Large tax credit on contributions for residents

Arizona Family College Savings Program

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

Our rating for non-residents
3 month yield:
N/A
6 month yield:
N/A
12 month yield:
1.25%
24 month yield:
1.45%
36 month yield:
1.55%

Why we like this plan

  • CD investments for investors looking for guaranteed returns
  • 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 - 0.28%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
-
-
-
-

Why we like this plan

    Smart Choice College Savings Plan

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

    Our rating for non-residents
    Fees - N/A
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    -
    -
    -
    -

    Why we like this plan

    • FDIC-Insured Money Market and 1-year CD options
    • Residents allowed to deduct full contribution amount from CO state taxes
    • Matching Grant Program with a dollar-for-dollar match for qualifying CO residents

    Stable Value Plus College Savings Program

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

    Our rating for non-residents
    Fees - N/A
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    -
    -
    -
    -

    Why we like this plan

    • Guaranteed investment option with minimum rate of return
    • Residents allowed to deduct full contribution amount from CO state taxes
    • Matching Grant Program with a dollar-for-dollar match for qualifying CO residents

    Montana Family Education Savings Program -- Bank Plan

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

    Our rating for non-residents
    Fees - N/A
    Performance
    1-YR
    3-YR
    5-YR
    10-YR
    -
    -
    -
    -

    Why we like this plan