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ScholarShare 529 eclipses $10B in assets, reduces fees on investment options

Milestone triggers 10 percent fee reduction on plan’s most popular investment portfolios
Jan 21, 2020

Sacramento — ScholarShare 529, California’s official college savings plan, announced today that the plan has surpassed $10 billion in assets under management and reduced fees across its investment lineup. Fees for ScholarShare 529’s passive, age-based portfolios – the plan’s most popular investment options that shift risk levels from aggressive to conservative as a child nears college age – are now 10 percent lower.

The fee reduction across the investment lineup will save plan participants and beneficiaries a collective $2 million annually. ScholarShare 529 fees are among the lowest in the country, ranking among the most affordable 20 percent of plans that are analyzed for annual asset-based fees.1

“This achievement underscores the fact that ScholarShare 529 is a sound solution for Californians who wish to reach their college savings goals,” said California State Treasurer Fiona Ma.

“Low fees and expenses make a big difference on investment returns – especially when they are compounded over a longer-term time horizon,” said Julio Martinez, executive director of the ScholarShare Investment Board. “We are excited to achieve this milestone, and pleased that it means California families have access to even more affordable investment choices for college. We look forward to the continued growth of ScholarShare 529 and helping California families achieve their college savings goals with a low-cost plan with a diverse investment lineup.”

Prior to the fee reduction, ScholarShare 529 investment fees were already less than half the national average. ScholarShare 529’s average investment expenses total 0.29 percent, compared to 0.59 percent for all plans, 0.40 percent for direct-sold plans, and 0.88 percent for advisor-sold plans.1 ScholarShare 529 does not charge sales charges, loads or other commissions that can significantly dent investment returns and potentially reduce college savings by thousands of dollars.

In October, ScholarShare 529 celebrated its 20-year anniversary with a Gold Morningstar Analyst Rating. Morningstar upgraded ScholarShare 529 to Gold from Silver, acknowledging the plan’s age-based portfolios as a key differentiator. Morningstar awarded only four plans a Gold rating for low costs, strong stewardship, and exceptional investment options.

For more information about ScholarShare 529, visit

About ScholarShare 529

ScholarShare 529, a Gold-rated college savings plan by Morningstar, serves as California’s official college savings plan. Administered by the ScholarShare Investment Board, ScholarShare 529 provides families with a valuable tool that offers a diverse set of investment options, tax-deferred growth, and withdrawals free from state and federal taxes when used for qualified higher education expenses, such as tuition and fees, books, certain room and board costs, computer equipment, and other required supplies. ScholarShare 529 manages over $10 billion in plan assets across more than 333,000 ScholarShare 529 accounts as of 1/16/20.

To open a ScholarShare 529 account or get more information about the plan, visit For information about the ScholarShare Investment Board, visit, like ScholarShare 529 on Facebook at, and follow them on Twitter at @ScholarShare529.

1Source: Strategic Insight 529 College Savings Fee Analysis 4Q 2019. ScholarShare 529’s average annual asset-based fees are 0.29% for all portfolios compared to 0.59% for all 529 plans.

In an annual review (10/22/2019) of the largest 529 college savings plans (62 total), Morningstar identified 30 plans that rose above their typical peers, awarding those plans Gold, Silver, and Bronze Morningstar Analyst Ratings for 2019. These forward-looking, qualitative ratings signal Morningstar’s conviction in the plans’ abilities to outperform their relevant benchmark and peer groups on a risk-adjusted basis over the long term. Morningstar evaluates college savings plans based on five key pillars – Process, Performance, People, Parent, and Price. For more information about Morningstar’s overview of ScholarShare, go to Past performance does not predict future results. Source: A Morningstar Analyst Rating for a 529 college savings plan is not a credit or risk rating. Analyst ratings are subjective in nature and should not be used as the sole basis for investment decisions.

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