Which 529 College Savings Plan Is Right for My Family?

Young boy in grad cap and gown - many families wonder about the best 529 plans

Flickr user Josh Grenier

Everyone needs a little help when it comes to saving money and planning ahead for college. With tuition costs and student debt increasing every year, it may feel quite daunting. But don’t give up hope. There are college saving plans out there that can help you save for and afford college. But have you ever wondered which college savings plan is right for your family and you? Well, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve looked around and investigated the best 529 plans out there. Now, you can choose the right savings plan depending on your family’s finances.

What is a 529 Plan?

Every state in the US, including the District of Columbia, has some form of a 529 tuition savings and investments plan. Therefore, rules and returns vary by state. In some states, parents may begin investing in a 529 plan before their child is even born. The best 529 plans boast large returns. Many plans also go one step further by locking in tuition savings. Most of the plans don’t require you to be a resident of the state whose plan you choose to invest in.

The Best 529 Plans

Utah’s my529 Plan: This plan allows for aggressive investor choices, and is perhaps the most flexible to work with. This is one of the reasons why it is one of the top plans in the country. Utah’s my529 Plan also offers age-based investment tracks. The money is readily available when you need it for tuition, fees, and any other necessities for college students.

Virginia’s Invest529: Another plan voted as one of the best in the country, Virginia’s Invest529 plan offers investments that regular retail customers do not otherwise qualify for. This is another plan with age-based portfolios and returns. The savings plan boasts some of the best and most successful returns. That means more money for your education and a more low-stress financial future. This plan offers competitive fees and sound advice for those who need it. If you are a resident of Virginia, you’re in luck—residents can deduct up to $4,000 in contributions per account.

Illinois’s BrightStart Direct-Sold College Savings Plan: This plan has been redesigned and updated, and can now boast some of the lowest investment fees in the country. Illinois’s BrightStart Direct-Sold College Savings Plan is extremely flexible and provides fair and sound investments not only for Illinois residents, but non-residents as well.

Nevada’s Vanguard 529: Nevada’s Vanguard 529 plan offers some of the lowest fees, so for those who are looking to save money while investing and saving for college, this one can’t be beat. It also offers numerous options to help investors make the most money on their investments.

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Some Other Tips…

Though we’ve outlined some of the best plans, speak with an investments counselor as well as your counselor to see which 529 plan may be the perfect fit for you. Though it’s best to start saving early, start saving now if you haven’t! Any amount of money saved can help offset the cost of college and lower your future student debt. 


Lender Rates (APR) Eligibility
Citizens logo.
5.99%-16.61%* Variable
4.24%-15.61%* Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
Sallie Mae logo.
5.37% - 15.70% Variable
4.15% - 15.49% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
Credibe company logo.
5.37% - 17.99% Variable
3.79% - 17.99% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
Lendkey company logo.
5.98% - 13.74% Variable
3.99% - 12.61% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
Ascent company logo.
5.99% - 15.85% Variable
3.79% - 15.41% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
6.54% - 11.08% Variable
3.70% - 8.24% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
Earnest company logo.
5.62% - 16.85% Variable
4.17% - 16.49% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
6.00% - 14.22% Variable
4.50% - 14.22% Fixed
Undergraduate and Graduate
College Raptor is not a loan lender and does not assume responsibility for suggesting a loan to a user who may not be eligible for it. Rates, terms, conditions, eligibility, approval, and other considerations are the decisions of the lenders and may vary depending on which lender or marketplace the user selects. We urge users to carefully consider and review all loan options and terms before committing to taking out a loan.

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