Monthly top tips

Using our 529 Selection Checklist
by Joe Hurley, founder,
Monday, March 13th 2006

We’ve created a new tool to help you choose a 529 plan.’s 529 Selection Checklist contains 31 questions you can employ to “score” 529 plans. By completing the checklist for each 529 plan you are considering, you will be better able to identify the particular program that is right for you.

Notice the emphasis on “you.” At, we have always taken a firm position in saying there is no single “best” 529 plan. The best plan for you is not necessarily the best plan for your next door neighbor. Individual circumstances and investment preferences are key factors in the selection of a 529 plan. We have never published a list of “best and worst” 529 plans despite the potential media value.

Our checklist asks you to highlight the particular questions you wish to utilize for comparison purposes. You simply ignore the questions that are of no relevance to you. We have pre-checked 11 of the 31 questions that we feel should be relevant to everyone. For the other 20 questions, it’s up to you to decide their importance.

How do you access’s 529 Selection Checklist? It easy, and best of all, it’s entirely free. Simply go to our Get Started page and request plan enrollment materials for any of the 529 savings plans listed on that page. We will automatically send an email to you attaching a pdf file that contains the checklist. Some of the 529 plans have agreed to participate with us in making their enrollment materials available to you, and for these plans the checklist has our own comments and details filled out for many of the questions. For non-participating 529 plans, you won’t find our comments and details but you can still utilize the checklist by filling in the details yourself.

We’re in the process of creating a separate checklist for 529 prepaid tuition plans, but have not yet finalized it. Once we do, we will add prepaid plans to the Get Started enrollment menu.

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