14. Invest529

State: Virginia

2020 rating: Silver

2019 rating: Gold

13. Pennsylvania 529 Investment Plan

State: Pennsylvania

2020 rating: Silver

2019 rating: Bronze

12. Oregon College Savings Plan

State: Oregon

2020 rating: Silver

2019 rating: Bronze

11. CollegeAdvantage 529 Savings Plan

State: Ohio

2020 rating: Silver

2019 rating: Silver

10. New York’s 529 Plan (Direct)

State: New York

2020 rating: Silver

2019 rating: Silver

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9. The Vanguard 529 College Savings Plan

State: Nevada

2020 rating: Silver

2019 rating: Silver

8. MOST Missouri’s 529 Education Plan

State: Missouri

2020 rating: Silver

2019 rating: Bronze

7. Minnesota College Savings Plan

State: Minnesota

2020 rating: Silver

2019 rating: Silver

6. MD Sen Edward J. Kasemeyer Clg Inv Plan

State: Maryland

2020 rating: Silver

2019 rating: Silver

5. ScholarShare College Savings Plan

State: California

2020 rating: Silver

2019 rating: Gold

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4. T. Rowe Price College Savings Plan

State: Alaska

2020 rating: Silver

2019 rating: Silver

3. my529

State: Utah

2020 rating: Gold

2019 rating: Gold

2. Michigan Education Savings Program

State: Michigan

2020 rating: Gold

2019 rating: Silver

1. Bright Start Direct-Sold College Savings

State: Illinois

2020 rating: Gold

2019 rating: Gold

(Related: Top 10 Direct-Sold 529 College Savings Plans)

Morningstar announced updates to its analyst ratings for 61 of the biggest 529 college savings plans in the U.S. on Tuesday. These plans represent 97% of the more than $363 billion in 529 plan assets as of Aug. 30.

“The college savings plan industry is maturing,” Madeline Hume, manager research analyst on Morningstar’s multi-asset and alternative strategies team, said in a statement. “Asset growth is slowing, and 529 plans are increasingly having to cut costs to stay competitive.”

Hume noted that 529 investment quality has improved, and several plans have enhanced their asset-allocation approach to smooth the transition from stocks to bonds over time, which should continue to benefit investors, she said.

This year, Morningstar manager research analysts awarded three Gold ratings, 10 Silver ratings, 22 Bronze ratings, 18 Neutral ratings and eight Negative ratings to 529 college savings plans.

“We also enhanced our ratings methodology, placing greater weight on our price assessment,” Hume said. “Consequently, we downgraded the ratings of numerous advisor-sold plans that tend to charge higher fees. On the flipside, we upgraded the ratings of various direct-sold plans that charge lower fees.”

See the gallery for Morningstar’s 14 top-rated college savings plans. All of these plans are direct-sold.

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