Morningstar Releases Medalist Ratings for 54 of the Nation’s Largest 529 College-Savings Plans, Including 10 Upgrades and Seven Downgrades – Earn Charter


CHICAGO, Nov. 2, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Morningstar, Inc. (Nasdaq: MORN), a leading provider of independent investment insights, today announced Morningstar Medalist Ratings™ for 54 of the nation’s largest 529 college-savings plans, which represent more than 90% of the industry’s approximately $415 billion in 529 plan assets as of Aug. 31, 2023. The Medalist Rating expresses Morningstar manager research analysts’ forward-looking views of which plans are best suited to help investors reach their goals. It has five tiers—Gold, Silver, Bronze, Neutral, and Negative. This year, Morningstar analysts assigned two Gold ratings, 15 Silver ratings, 17 Bronze ratings, 16 Neutral ratings, and four Negative ratings to 529 plans.

“Since we debuted our 529 ratings in 2012, we’ve been pleased with the overall improvement in the 529 industry, namely through more sophisticated investment approaches, increased state oversight, and lower fees,” said Hyunmin Kim, manager research analyst at Morningstar. “Rightly, asset managers no longer consider education savings plans as an afterthought. With the right plan, families can effectively save for education and even kickstart retirement plans, and our team remains focused on providing these 529 ratings to guide investors through the available options.”

A full list of Morningstar’s 529 ratings and key insights is available in a Fund Spy article published today on Morningstar.com.

In this year’s assessment, Morningstar analysts upgraded 10 plans and downgraded seven plans. The table below shows these changes.
























Upgrades



(Distribution Channel)



State  



Current Morningstar
Medalist Rating



Previous Morningstar Medalist
Rating


Pennsylvania 529 Investment Plan (Direct)


PA


Gold


Silver


AZ529, Arizona’s Education Savings Plan
(Direct)


AZ


Silver


Bronze


DE529 Education Savings Plan (Direct)


DE


Silver


Bronze


U.Fund College Investing Plan (Direct)


MA


Silver


Bronze


New York’s 529 Program (Direct)


NY


Silver


Bronze


CollegeAmerica (Advisor)


VA


Silver


Bronze


Invest529 (Direct)


VA


Silver


Bronze


NextGen College Investing Plan Direct
(Direct)


ME


Bronze


Neutral


The Education Plan (Direct)


NM


Bronze


Neutral


NextGen College Investing Plan Select
(Advisor)


ME


Neutral


Negative











Downgrades



(Distribution Channel)



State



Current Morningstar Medalist
Rating



Previous Morningstar Medalist
Rating


Michigan Education Savings Program
(Direct)


MI


Silver


Gold


Oregon College Savings Plan (Direct)


OR


Bronze


Silver


MOST Missouri’s 529 Education Plan
(Direct)


MO


Bronze


Silver


ScholarShare College Savings Plan (Direct)


CA


Bronze


Silver


CollegeChoice 529 Direct Savings Plan
(Direct)


IN


Neutral


Bronze


Bloomwell 529 Education Savings Plan
(Direct)


NE


Neutral


Bronze


CollegeBound 529 (Advisor)


RI


Negative


Neutral

For more information on 529 college-savings plans – including use cases and tips for selecting a plan – visit Morningstar’s 529 Plan Guide on Morningstar.com.


About Morningstar, Inc. 

Morningstar, Inc. is a leading provider of independent investment insights in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. The Company offers an extensive line of products and services for individual investors, financial advisors, asset managers and owners, retirement plan providers and sponsors, and institutional investors in the debt and private capital markets. Morningstar provides data and research insights on a wide range of investment offerings, including managed investment products, publicly listed companies, private capital markets, debt securities, and real-time global market data. Morningstar also offers investment management services through its investment advisory subsidiaries, with approximately $264 billion in assets under advisement and management as of Sept. 30, 2023. The Company operates through wholly- or majority-owned subsidiaries in 32 countries. For more information, visit www.morningstar.com/company. Follow Morningstar on Twitter @MorningstarInc.


Morningstar’s Manager Research Group

Morningstar’s Manager Research Group consists of various wholly owned subsidiaries of Morningstar, Inc. including, but not limited to, Morningstar Research Services LLC. Morningstar Manager Research provides independent, fundamental analysis on managed investment strategies. Morningstar views are expressed in the form of Morningstar Medalist Ratings, which are derived through research of three key pillars—People, Process, and Parent. The Morningstar Medalist Rating is the summary expression of Morningstar’s forward-looking analysis of investment strategies as offered via specific vehicles using a rating scale of Gold, Silver, Bronze, Neutral, and Negative. A global research team issues detailed research reports on strategies that span vehicle, asset class, and geography.

Medalist Ratings are not statements of fact, nor are they credit or risk ratings, and should not be used as the sole basis for investment decisions. A Medalist Rating is not intended to be nor is a guarantee of future performance. This press release is for informational purposes only; references to securities should not be considered an offer or solicitation to buy or sell the securities.

©2023 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

MORN-R


Morningstar Media Contact:

Michael Claussen, +1 312 696-6037 or [email protected]




 


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