Total 529 savings plans assets topped $144 billion at the end of 2011,a 7.3% increase from the third quarter, according to Financial Research Corp. The researchers at FRC compiled a list, released Monday, of the top 10 529 savings plans by fourth-quarter 2011 assets, asset growth and market share. 

Fidelity CEO Edward Johnson III10. Fidelity’s U.Fund College Investing Plan:
$3.45 billion, Q4 2011

State: Massachusetts

Distributor: Fidelity

Program manager: Fidelity

Q4 2010 AUM: $3.38 billion
Percent Change (One Year): 2.1%

Q3 2011 AUM: $3.27 billion
Percent Change (Quarter): 5.6%

Market Share: 2.4%

BlackRock CEO Larry Fink9. BlackRock CollegeAdvantage:
$3.48 billion, Q4 2011

State: Ohio

Distributor: BlackRock

Program Manager: BlackRock

Q4 2010 AUM: $3.60 billion
Percent Change (One Year): -3.3%

Q3 2011 AUM: $3.31 billion
Percent Change (Quarter): 5.3%

Market Share: 2.4%

8. TIAA-CREF’s ScholarShare College Savings:
$3.95 billion Q4 2011
(Adjusted for California’s fourth-quarter transition from Fidelity to TIAA-CREF.)

State: California

Distributor: TIAA-CREF

Program Manager: TIAA-CREF

Q4 2010 AUM: $3.80 billion
Percent Change (One Year): 4.1%

Q3 2011 AUM: $3.81 billion
Percent Change (Quarter): 3.8%

Market Share: 2.7%

7. Utah Ed. Savings Plan Trust (UESP):
$4.2 billion, Q4 2011 

State: Utah

Distributor: State of Utah

Program Manager:  State of Utah

Q4 2010 AUM: $3.79 billion
Percent Change (One Year): 10.8%

Q3 2011 AUM: $3.81 billion
Percent Change (Quarter): 10.4%

Market Share: 2.9%

Merrill Lynch's NYC headquarters in 2008. (Photo: AP)6. Merrill Lynch’s NextGen–Advisor:
$5.58 billion, Q4 2011 

State: Maine

Distributor: Merrill Lynch

Program Manager: Merrill Lynch

Q4 2010 AUM: $5.49 billion
Percent Change (One Year): 1.7%

Q3 2011 AUM: $5.25 billion
Percent Change (Quarter): 6.4%

Market Share: 3.9%

Vanguard CEO William McNabb5. The Vanguard 529 Savings Plan:
$5.90 billion, Q4 2011

State: Nevada

Distributor: Vanguard

Program Manager: Vanguard

Q4 2010 AUM: $5.25 billion
Percent Change (Quarter): 9.3%

Q3 2011 AUM: $5.40 billion
Percent Change (One Year): 12.4%

Market Share: 4.1%

Fidelity sign (Photo: AP)4. Fidelity’s UNIQUE College Investing Plan:
$6.77 billion, Q4 2011

State: New Hampshire

Distributor: Fidelity

Program Manager: Fidelity

Q4 2010 AUM: $6.55 billion
Percent Change (one year): 3.4%

Q3 2011 AUM: $6.35 billion
Percent Change (Quarter): 6.6%

Market Share: 4.7% 

3. AllianceBernstein’s CollegeBound Fund:
$7.13 billion, Q4 2011 

State: Rhode Island

Distributor: AllianceBernstein

Program Manager: AllianceBernstein

Q4 2010 AUM: $7.67 billion
Percent Change (one year): -6.9%

Q3 2011 AUM: $6.96 billion
Percent Change (Quarter): 2.6%

Market Share: 4.9%

Vanguard CEO William McNabb2. Vanguard’s NY College Savings—Direct:
$10.23 billion, Q4 2011

State: New York

Distributor: Vanguard

Program Manager: Upromise Inv.

Q4 2010 AUM: $9.28 billion
Percent Change (one year): 10.3%

Q3 2011 AUM: $9.4 billion
Percent Change (Quarter): 8.9%

Market Share: 7.1%

1. American Funds’ College America:
$30.17 billion, Q4 2011

State: Virginia

Distributor: American Funds

Program Manager: American Funds

Q4 2010 AUM: $29.85 billion
Percent Change (one year): 1.1%

Q3 2011 AUM: $28.06 billion
Percent Change (Quarter): 7.5%

Market Share: 20.9%

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