How to compare costs for 529 plans

April 18, 2008

I've decided to invest in a 529 savings plan for my son's education and have looked at plans from a few states, but they all seem to have different cost structures. Is there an easy way to compare plan costs?

I've decided to invest in a 529 savings plan for my son's education and have looked at plans from a few states, but they all seem to have different cost structures. Is there an easy way to compare plan costs?

You can use the 529 Plan Expense Analyzer available from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority at http://www.finra.org. Click on the Investor Information tab, then on College Savings Center, and lastly on Expense Analyzer. You'll need to input a variety of information from each plan's disclosure statement or program brochure, and possibly from mutual fund prospectuses. FINRA, a new entity replacing the National Association of Securities Directors and various regulatory functions of the NYSE, regulates all securities firms that do business in this country.