As part of the report, Morningstar updated its list of the top five 529 plans. Among them are the T. Rowe Price College Savings Plan and Maryland College Investment Plan. Both funds are run by T. Rowe Price, and have similar asset allocation and underlying funds. The report says these funds are among the few direct-sold 529 plans.

The CollegeAdvantage 529 Savings Plan, managed by the Ohio Tuition Trust, wins kudos for its low-cost structure even though it runs multiple strategies operated by different companies.

Morningstar's list also includes the Vanguard 529 College Savings Plan sold through the state of Nevada. It has a $3,000 minimum investment. For investors looking for a smaller initial commitment, Morningstar suggests another Vanguard-run fund--New York's 529 College Savings Program (Direct) and its $25 minimum.

The last fund on the list, the Virginia-based College America fund, is the nation's largest 529 plan. The plan is backed by the full lineup from American Funds.

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