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Ohio’s 529 Plan, CollegeAdvantage continues to receive unprecedented ratings from

March 26th, 2021

Ohio’s 529 Plan, CollegeAdvantage, has once again received unprecedented ratings from, one of the nation’s leading college-saving industry resources. provides unbiased research on 529 plans by analyzing the performance of the nation’s 529 plans. Their ratings are based on a quarterly review of the individual college savings plans. Ohio’s 529 Plan, CollegeAdvantage, ranks first in the nation for the best investment performance in both the five and ten year performance categories and fourth in the three-year category. This ranking contributes to Ohio’s Direct 529 Plan being recognized as the fourth best college savings plan in the country. For almost four years, Ohio’s Direct 529 Plan has been ranked first in the nation for five-year investment performance. Additionally, Ohio’s 529 Plan has been ranked first in the nation for 10-year investment performance for two years.

Along with rating a program’s investment performance, also uses a 5-cap ranking system to rate college savings programs for flexibility, attractive investments options, and a generous tax benefit. ranks Ohio’s Direct 529 plan a great value for residents of Ohio and those living out-of-state.

“We at Ohio’s Direct 529 plan pride ourselves on being able to offer Ohioans the best college savings plan that meets their needs and helps make college attainable,” said Tim Gorrell, executive director of CollegeAdvantage. “During these uncertain times families need a plan and a program they can trust, is affordable, fits their lifestyle, provides flexibility, and will be there when the time comes for  their child to attend college,” said Gorrell.’s  5-Cap ratings are based on five criteria: 1) the performance of the 529 plan; 2) the costs of running the college-savings plan, including expense ratios, administration, and managerial fees; 3) special features such as age-based and risk-based portfolios as well as FDIC-insured options; 4) reliability signals such as plan disclosure statements, ease of making account changes; and 5) tax benefits for any person who contributes to a CollegeAdvantage account even if they aren’t the account owner but is a resident of Ohio.

Funds saved in Ohio’s 529 Plan can be used for all types of qualified higher education expenses, including a typical four-year college or university, two-year community college, technical or trade school, apprenticeship, or a certificate program. Ohio’s 529 Plan can be used at any college in the country that accepts federal financial aid. For over 30 years, Ohio’s 529 Plan have helped families in Ohio and across the nation save money for their children’s future higher education or training by leveraging significant tax-advantaged benefits. All contributions and earnings grow tax free, and withdrawals from Ohio’s 529 Plan are tax free when used to pay qualified higher education expenses. Those qualified costs include tuition, fees, room and board, books, computers, and more. Additionally, 529 plans can now be used to repay up to $10,000 in student loan. This includes plan beneficiaries or their siblings.

Families can open an account for as little as $25. Any Ohio taxpayer — including parents, grandparents, family members and friends — who contribute to an Ohio 529 Plan account can claim a deduction of up to $4,000 in contributions, per beneficiary, per year from State of Ohio taxable income. Account owners pay no federal or state income taxes on the funds as they grow, and withdrawals used for 529-qualified higher education expenses are free from State of Ohio and federal income taxes on the earnings.

Ohio offers a choice of two variable savings plans. The CollegeAdvantage Direct 529 Plan allows you to open and manage your account on your own, while the BlackRock CollegeAdvantage 529 Plan must be opened through a professional financial advisor. With either plan, you get to choose from diverse investment options to suit your savings goals, time horizon, and risk-tolerance preferences.

About Ohio’s 529 Plan

Ohio’s 529 Plan is offered and administered by the OTTA, a state agency under the Office of the Chancellor of the Ohio Department of Higher Education. Ohio is the seventh-largest state sponsor of 529 plans in the country. Ohio’s 529 Plan is offered as the CollegeAdvantage Direct 529 Savings Plan and the Blackrock CollegeAdvantage 529 Plan, which is offered and marketed through BlackRock and sold through professional financial advisors. To learn more, explore Ohio’s 529 Plan at

Judy Cunningham, Public Relations Manager