MONEY Magazine

529 Guide 2007

See which plans are available in your state as well as Money Magazine's picks for your best options.

By Penelope Wang, Money Magazine senior writer
Additional reporting by Kathleen Knight

Tax-free withdrawals from 529s are now permanent, they don't hurt chances for financial aid and the offerings are better than ever. In other words, you'd be a fool to save for college any other way but in a 529 plan.

529 Guide
College savings plans may seem confusing. But it's nothing you can't handle by adhering to a few simple guidelines. (more)

The real question is which plan to pick. There are some 85 plans available nationwide the 70 largest are listed below - with almost every state offering at least one program and some, like West Virginia, offering as many as five.

All 529 savings plans provide the same federal tax benefits: Your investment earnings grow free of income tax. Your withdrawals, as long as you use them to pay higher education bills, are untaxed as well. What you don't get is an up-front federal tax deduction.

But 32 states and the District of Columbia have stepped in where the feds have not, offering residents a write-off on state income taxes for at least a portion of their 529 contributions.

And three states - Kansas, Maine and Pennsylvania - even allow residents to deduct their contributions to out-of-state plans as well.

If you live in a high-tax state that offers a big deduction for 529 contributions, your best 529 plan is one in your own backyard - that is, as long as the plan also has reasonable expenses and offers solid investment choices. We selected 22 plans as top choices on this basis, in addition to another 5 whose strong management and low fees make them top choices not only for their own state's citizens, but for anyone whose in-state plan doesn't merit a star.

 
 
State: Plan name: Program Manager / Investments Offered Web site:
Alabama Higher Education 529 Fund Van Kampen / Van Kampen mutual funds www.alabama529.com
Alaska John Hancock Freedom 529 T. Rowe Price and John Hancock / Multiple funds families www.johnhancockfreedom529.com
Alaska T. Rowe Price College Savings Plan T. Rowe Price / T. Rowe Price mutual funds price529.com
Arizona Fidelity Arizona College Savings Plan Fidelity Investments / Fidelity Investments mutual funds www.fidelity.com/arizona
Arizona Waddell & Reed InvestEd Plan Waddell & Reed / Waddell and Reed mutual funds www.waddell.com
Arkansas GIFT College Investing Plan Upromise and Vanguard / Vanguard mutual funds www.thegiftplan.com
California The ScholarShare College Savings Plan Fidelity Investments / Fidelity Investments mutual funds www.scholarshare.com
Colorado Direct Portfolio College Savings Plan Upromise and Vanguard / Vanguard mutual funds www.collegeinvest.org
Colorado Scholars Choice College Savings Program Legg Mason / Multiple funds www.scholars-choice.com
Connecticut Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET) TIAA-CREF / TIAA-CREF mutual funds www.aboutchet.com
Delaware Delaware College Investment Plan Fidelity Investments / Fidelity Investments mutual funds www.fidelity.com/delaware
District of Columbia DC 529 College Savings Program Calvert / Multiple funds families www.dccollegesavings.com
Florida Florida College Investment Plan Florida Prepaid College Board / Multiple fund families www.florida529plans.com
Georgia Georgia Higher Education Savings Plan TIAA-CREF / TIAA-CREF mutual funds www.gacollegesavings.com
Hawaii TuitionEDGE Delware Investments / Delware Investments www.tuitionedge.com
Idaho Idaho College Savings Program (IDeal) TIAA-CREF / TIAA-CREF mutual funds www.idsaves.org
Illinois Bright Directions College Savings Program Union Bank and Trust Company / Multiple fund families www.brightdirections.com
Illinois Bright Start College Savings Program Legg Mason / Multiple fund families www.brightstartsavings.com
Indiana CollegeChoice 529 Investment Plan (Advisor) JPMorgan / Multiple fund famliles www.collegechoiceplan.com
Indiana CollegeChoice 529 Investment Plan (Direct) JPMorgan / Multiple fund families www.collegechoiceplan.com
Iowa College Savings Iowa Upromise Investments and Vanguard / Vanguard mutual funds www.collegesavingsiowa.com
Kansas Learning Quest 529 Education Savings Program American Century / Multiple fund families www.learningquest.com
Kansas Schwab 529 College Savings Plan American Century / Multiple fund families www.schwab.com/529
Kentucky Kentucky Education Savings Plan Trust TIAA-CREF / TIAA-CREF mutual funds www.kysaves.com
Louisiana START Saving Program Louisiana State Treasurer / Multiple fund families www.startsaving.la.gov
Maine NextGen College Investing Plan - Client Direct Series Merrill Lynch / Multiple fund families www.nextgenplan.com
Maine NextGen College Investing Plan - Client Select Series Merrill Lynch / Multiple funds www.nextgenplan.com
Maryland College Savings Plans of Maryland - College Investment Plan T. Rowe Price / T. Rowe Price mutual funds www.collegesavingsmd.org
Massachusetts U.Fund College Investing Plan Fidelity Investments / Fidelity Investments mutual funds www.fidelity.com/ufund
Michigan Michigan Education Savings Program TIAA-CREF / TIAA-CREF mutual funds www.misaves.com
Minnesota Minnesota College Savings Plan TIAA-CREF / TIAA-CREF mutual funds www.mnsaves.org
Mississippi Mississippi Affordable College Savings (MACS) Program TIAA-CREF / TIAA-CREF mutual funds www.collegesavingsms.com
Missouri MOST - Missouri's 529 College Savings Plan Upromise Investments / Multiple fund families www.missourimost.org
Montana Pacific Life Funds 529 College Savings Plan Pacific Life / Pacific Life funds www.pacificlife.com
Nebraska AIM College Savings Plan AIM / AIM mutual funds www.aiminvestments.com
Nebraska College Savings Plan of Nebraska Union Bank and Trust Company / Multiple fund multiple fund families www.planforcollegenow.com
Nevada Columbia 529 Plan Upromise Investments / Multiple fund families www.columbia529.com
Nevada The Vanguard 529 Savings Plan Upromise Investments and Vanguard / Vanguard mutual funds www.vanguard.com
New Hampshire Fidelity Advisor 529 Plan Fidelity Investments / Fidelity Advisor Funds www.advisor.fidelity.com/529
New Hampshire UNIQUE College Investing Plan Fidelity Investments / Fidelity Investments mutual funds www.fidelity.com/unique
New Jersey Franklin Templeton 529 College Savings Plan Franklin Templeton / Multiple fund families www.franklintempleton.com
New Jersey NJBEST 529 College Savings Plan Franklin Templeton / Multiple fund families www.njbest.com
New Mexico Scholar'sEdge OppenheimerFunds / OppenheimerFunds mutual funds www.scholarsedge529.com
New Mexico The Education Plan’s College Savings Program

OppenheimerFunds / Multiple fund families

www.theeducationplan.com
New York New York's 529 College Savings Program - Advisor Plan Upromise Investments and Columbia Management / Multiple fund families www.ny529advisor.com/
New York New York's 529 College Savings Program - Direct Plan Upromise and Vanguard / Vanguard mutual funds www.nysaves.org/
North Carolina National College Savings Program College Foundation, Inc. / Multiple fund families www.nc529.org/
North Dakota College SAVE Upromise Investments / Vanguard mutual funds www.collegesave4u.com/
Ohio CollegeAdvantage 529 Savings Plan Ohio Tuition Trust Authority / Multiple fund families www.collegeadvantage.com
Ohio Putnam CollegeAdvantage Putnam Investments / Putnam mutual fund families www.putnam.com
Oklahoma Oklahoma 529 College Savings Plan TIAA-CREF / TIAA-CREF mutual funds www.ok4saving.org
Oregon Oregon College Savings Plan OppenheimerFunds / OppenheimerFunds and Vanguard mutual funds www.oregoncollegesavings.com
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania 529 Direct Investment Plan Upromise Investments and Vanguard / Vanguard mutual funds www.pa529direct.com
Rhode Island CollegeBoundfund (Advisor) AllianceBernstein / AllianceBernstein mutual funds www.collegeboundfund.com
Rhode Island CollegeBoundfund (Direct) AllianceBernstein / AllianceBernstein mutual funds ri.collegeboundfund.com/ ri/DesktopContainer.aspx
South Carolina Future Scholar Adviser Program Columbia Management / Columbia mutual funds, Transamerica Life www.futurescholar.com
South Carolina Future Scholar Direct Program Columbia Management / Columbia mutual funds, Transamerica Life www.futurescholar.com
South Dakota CollegeAccess 529 (Advisor) Allianz Global Investors / multiple funds families www.collegeaccess529.com
South Dakota CollegeAccess 529 (Direct) Allianz Global Investors / Multiple fund families www.collegeaccess529.com/
Tennessee Tennessee's BEST Savings Plan TIAA-CREF / TIAA-CREF mutual funds www.tnbest.com
Texas Tomorrow's College Investment Plan Enterprise Capital Management / Multiple funds www.enterprise529.com
Utah Utah Educational Savings Plan (UESP) Trust Utah Higher Education Assistance Authority / Public Treasurer's Investment Fund and Vanguard mutual funds www.uesp.org/
Vermont Vermont Higher Education Investment Plan TIAA-CREF / TIAA-CREF mutual funds and Vermont Student Assistance Corporation interest-bearing notes services.vsac.org/ilwwcm/connect/VSAC
Virginia CollegeAmerica Capital Research and Management / American Funds www.americanfunds.com
Virginia Virginia Education Savings Trust (VEST) Virginia College Savings Plan Board / Multiple funds www.virginia529.com
West Virginia Director SMART529 College Savings Plan Hartford Life / Hartford and INVESCO mutual funds www.smart529.com
West Virginia SMART529 Select Hartford Life / Hartford and INVESCO mutual funds www.smart529select.com
Wisconsin EdVest Wells Fargo / Multiple funds including Wells Fargo Funds www.edvest.com
Wisconsin Tomorrow's Scholar Wells Fargo / Multiple funds including Wells Fargo Funds www.tomorrowsscholar.com
Wyoming None* [Colorado's 529 plans available to Wyoming residents under special arrangement]   www.collegeinvestwyoming.org
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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.