Top ten direct-sold plans Q1 2018
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By Savingforcollege.com

May 9, 2018

*Three-year performance rankings as of 03/31/2018

The highly anticipated Savingforcollege.com direct-sold 529 plan rankings are here! 

529 plans are generally made up of mutual funds with varying investment options. Each quarter, after analyzing data from thousands of underlying investment portfolios, Savingforcollege.com determines the overall top 10 direct-sold 529 plans, based on historical performance. The following slideshow features our most recent top 10 list of the plans that can be purchased directly through the plan manager (without having to go through a financial advisor). See the complete direct-sold ranking list here

The “performance score” determines the ranking. 

The rankings shown in the slideshow are based on performance over the last three years, giving you a better idea of how the plans fared over time. Note that past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Remember that you can open a 529 plan from almost any state, regardless of where you live. Premium subscribers can view the full list of rankings that includes plans sold through brokers and fee-based financial planners. 

One-year rankings 

Five-year rankings 

10-year rankings 

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

10. Missouri: MOST – Missouri’s 529 College Savings Plan (Direct-sold)

Performance score: 37.40

Available to: U.S. citizens and resident aliens who have a Social Security number or taxpayer identification number, UGMA/UTMA custodians, and legal entities.

Program manager: Ascensus College Savings

Virginia: Invest529

9. Virginia: Invest529

Performance score: 37.10
Available to: U.S. citizens and legal residents at least 18 years old, UGMA/UTMA custodians, and legal entities.
Program manager: Virginia529 Board and its CEO

Nevada: The Vanguard 529 Savings Plan

8. Nevada: The Vanguard 529 Savings Plan 

Performance score: 34.10

Available to: U.S. citizens and resident aliens at least 18 years old and UGMA/UTMA custodians.
Program manager: Ascensus Broker Dealer Services, Inc.

Maine: NextGen College Investing Plan - Client Direct Series

7. Maine: NextGen College Investing Plan – Client Direct Series 

Performance score: 32.71

Available to: Available to U.S. citizens and resident aliens at least 18 years old, UGMA/UTMA custodians, and legal entities.
Program manager: Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated

New York: New York’s 529 College Savings Program - Direct Plan

6. New York: New York’s 529 College Savings Program – Direct Plan 

Performance score: 32.39

Available to: U.S. citizens and resident aliens including minors, UGMA/UTMA custodians, and legal entities.
Program manager: Ascensus College Savings

Ohio: Ohio CollegeAdvantage Direct 529 Savings Program

5. Ohio: Ohio CollegeAdvantage Direct 529 Savings Program 

Performance score: 29.44

Available to: U.S. citizens and resident aliens, UGMA/UTMA custodians, trusts, and 501(c)(3) organizations.
Program managers: Ohio Tuition Trust Authority

Alaska

3. Alaska: University of Alaska College Savings Plan (tie)

Performance score: 28.80

Available to: U.S. resident individuals of legal age, UGMA/UTMA custodians, and legal entities organized in the U.S.
Program manager: T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. 


3. Alaska: T. Rowe Price College Savings Plan (tie)

Performance score: 28.80

Available to: U.S. resident individuals of legal age, UGMA/UTMA custodians, and legal entities organized in the U.S.
Program manager: T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. 

California: The ScholarShare College Savings Plan

2. California: The ScholarShare College Savings Plan 

Performance score: 27.35

Available to: U.S. citizens and resident aliens at least 18 years old, emancipated minors, UGMA/UTMA custodians, and legal entities.

Program manager: TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc. (TFI)

West Virginia: SMART529 WV Direct College Savings Plan

1. West Virginia: SMART529 WV Direct College Savings Plan 

Performance score: 25.55

Available to: U.S. citizens and resident aliens at least 18 years old, UGMA/UTMA custodians, and legal entities.
Program manager: Hartford Life Insurance Company

A good place to start:

See the best 529 plans, personalized for you