Morningstar, Inc., a leading investment research firm, upgraded its rating of Georgia’s Path2College 529 Plan from Neutral to Silver, leapfrogging eighteen other state 529 college savings plans. Georgia is the only state to receive a two-tier upgrade. Morningstar’s report stated that the Georgia Higher Education Savings Plan Board, chaired by Governor Brian Kemp, “displayed characteristics of strong stewardship” as the plan “underwent a major revamp.”
“Our Path2College 529 Plan has been recognized as one of the leading college savings plans in the nation,” said Governor Kemp. “Ensuring Georgia’s children have the resources they need to pay for continued education is vital. Our Path2College 529 Plan is now the lowest-cost college savings plan in the nation, and I hope more families will utilize it to help their children achieve their dreams.”
Of the 62 plans rated by Morningstar, the Path2College 529 Plan is one of only eleven plans in the nation to receive the Silver rating. Morningstar noted that Georgia “boasts a simple, well-diversified enrollment-date glide path overseen by the state’s diligent stewards.” The analysis continues saying that Georgia’s plan “further sets itself apart by having the lowest price tag for an age-based series of any 529 plan across the nation.”
“We appreciate Governor Kemp, the Georgia Higher Education Savings Plan Board and staff of the Office of the State Treasurer for taking steps to improve Path2College by negotiating cost reductions and refining investment options to provide more value to account holders,” said administer of the Path2 College 529 Plan and State Treasurer Steve McCoy. “The Path2College 529 Plan is now the lowest cost college savings plan in the nation and utilizes best in class mutual funds managed by TIAA, DFA, and Vanguard.”
The Path2College 529 Plan has achieved record growth in recent years, and 2021 is no exception. Year-to-date through September, the Path2 College 529 Plan experienced a 36 percent increase in contributions and a 21 percent increase in new accounts opened, significantly higher growth than most other college savings plans.
Morningstar analysts’ also observed, “Residents of Georgia would be hard-pressed to find a more attractive plan because Georgians filing jointly can deduct up to $8,000 in contributions annually per beneficiary from their state taxable income.”
As of September 30, 2021, participants have more than $4.4 billion saved in the Path2College 529 Plan even after taking into consideration that $1.4 billion has been withdrawn to pay for education-related expenses since the plan’s inception in 2002.