Savingforcollege.com revamps ratings of 529 plans

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The well-known college-savings website Savingforcollege.com has reconfigured its "5-Cap Ratings" system of all Section 529 college-savings and prepaid-tuition plans to make the ratings more transparent and detailed.

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The states and firms running the 529 plans have been vocal in expressing their desire for greater transparency in any system of ratings published by an independent entity, and we are pleased to respond to that call.

For the first time in more than a decade, Savingforcollege.com has completely retooled its exclusive 5-Cap Ratings system, which evaluates the relative strengths and weaknesses of all Section 529 college-savings and prepaid-tuition plans. The new ratings have recently been posted and are available to website visitors at no cost.

Widely recognized as the leading independent resource and authority on 529 plans, Savingforcollege.com assigns mortarboards, or "caps", to each of the more than one hundred different 529 plans, with five caps being the highest rating. Since many states offer their residents special benefit for using a home-state 529 plan, plans are given two 5-Cap Ratings, one targeted to the sponsoring state's residents, and another applicable to nonresidents.

Alongside its 5-Cap Ratings, Savingforcollege.com now also displays scores for four categories of judged criteria. For 529 savings plans, those categories are Performance, Costs, Features, and Reliability. For 529 prepaid plans, the categories are Financial Benefits, Safety, Features, and Reliability. More than three-dozen underlying factors are evaluated and weighted in determining the scores. A 529 savings plan may also receive a "resident upgrade" score used in determining its Resident 5-Cap Rating.

"The states and firms running the 529 plans have been vocal in expressing their desire for greater transparency in any system of ratings published by an independent entity, and we are pleased to respond to that call," say Joe Hurley, founder and chief executive officer of JFH Innovative LLC, which owns Savingforcollege.com. "Our new approach is not only more objective and more detailed, but it also allows for more regular updating."

Savingforcollege.com separately publishes investment performance rankings of all 529 savings plans on a quarterly basis. These rankings, popular in their own right, are used to determine the Performance scores in the 5-Cap Ratings.

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Marie Osypian
JFH Innovative LLC
(585) 286 - 5426
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