Best rated 529 plans of 2019

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

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.18%
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

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
-6.51%
-
-
-

Why we like this plan

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

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
-8.3%
-
-
-

Why we like this plan

  • Large selection of investment options
  • 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
-6.90%
-
-
-

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
-6.85%
6.95%
5.58%
-

Why we like this plan

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

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
-5.66%
7.01%
5.72%
-

Why we like this plan

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

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
-8.20%
7.31%
-
-

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

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

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
-7.89%
-
-
-

Why we like this plan

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

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
-6.47%
6.47%
5.04%
9.68%

Why we like this plan

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

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

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
-4.83%
-
-
-

Why we like this plan

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

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
-7.43%
-
-
-

Why we like this plan

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

NextGen College Investing Plan -- 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
-7.27%
5.94%
4.79%
9.8%

Why we like this plan

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

Invest529

VA
(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
-7.37%
-
-
-

Why we like this plan

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

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
-5.54%
7.21%
5.80%
-

Why we like this plan

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

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
-8.20%
7.31%
-
-

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

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.79%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
-7.34%
6.15%
4.93%
9.84%

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

Our rating for non-residents
Fees - 0.12%
Performance
1-YR
3-YR
5-YR
10-YR
-6.54%
6.47%
5.02%
9.52%

Why we like this plan

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

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
-6.27%
5.87%
5.06%
-

Why we like this plan

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

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
-6.93%
6.25%
4.99%
9.53%

Why we like this plan

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

MOST - Missouri's 529 College 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
-6.98%
6.22%
4.93%
9.3%

Why we like this plan

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

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
-5.97%
6.03%
4.88%
-

Why we like this plan

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

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
-7.53%
-
-
-

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

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
-11.70%
7.63%
6.43%
-

Why we like this plan

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