Skip to Content
US Videos

Which 529 Plans Are Best?

Although several states have favorable options, savers should check the tax advantages of their own state's plans before putting money into an out-of-state vehicle.


Adam Zoll: Laura, someone who is looking for the highest-quality 529 plans in the country--maybe they live in a state that does not give them a tax break or maybe there is no income tax at all, but they don’t get a tax break for contributing to their state's 529 plan. Therefore the field is open for them. Where should they be looking in terms of some of the best plans in the country?

Laura Lutton: Among our favorite plans, you see a nice variety of both, direct-sold and advisor-sold, and also active and passive management. For example we really like the T. Rowe Price plans that are run out of Alaska and Maryland. That’s an example where they're both direct sold. They've got great underlying investments, reasonable prices on active management, and just a very solid history in the 529 industry. Those would be two of our favorites; they are practically identical. So it doesn’t really matter if you are coming from out of state, like you mentioned, should you choose.

Adam Zoll does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.

Transparency is how we protect the integrity of our work and keep empowering investors to achieve their goals and dreams. And we have unwavering standards for how we keep that integrity intact, from our research and data to our policies on content and your personal data.

We’d like to share more about how we work and what drives our day-to-day business.

We sell different types of products and services to both investment professionals and individual investors. These products and services are usually sold through license agreements or subscriptions. Our investment management business generates asset-based fees, which are calculated as a percentage of assets under management. We also sell both admissions and sponsorship packages for our investment conferences and advertising on our websites and newsletters.

How we use your information depends on the product and service that you use and your relationship with us. We may use it to:

  • Verify your identity, personalize the content you receive, or create and administer your account.
  • Provide specific products and services to you, such as portfolio management or data aggregation.
  • Develop and improve features of our offerings.
  • Gear advertisements and other marketing efforts towards your interests.

To learn more about how we handle and protect your data, visit our privacy center.

Maintaining independence and editorial freedom is essential to our mission of empowering investor success. We provide a platform for our authors to report on investments fairly, accurately, and from the investor’s point of view. We also respect individual opinions––they represent the unvarnished thinking of our people and exacting analysis of our research processes. Our authors can publish views that we may or may not agree with, but they show their work, distinguish facts from opinions, and make sure their analysis is clear and in no way misleading or deceptive.

To further protect the integrity of our editorial content, we keep a strict separation between our sales teams and authors to remove any pressure or influence on our analyses and research.

Read our editorial policy to learn more about our process.