Solid, Gold: UESP Receives Morningstar’s Top Honor 7 Years Running

For the seventh straight year, the Utah Educational Savings Plan (UESP) has been lauded as one of the top 529 college savings plans in the nation by a leading industry analyst. Morningstar Inc., an independent investment research firm, awarded UESP the Analyst Rating™ of Gold for 2017.

Morningstar evaluated 62 educational savings plans across the nation in its October 2017 report and named UESP as one of four to earn the Gold rating, the firm’s highest assessment.

“Utah Educational Savings Plan’s compelling investment options, exceptional state oversight, and attractive price tag solidify its Morningstar Analyst Rating of Gold,” wrote Heather Larsen, Morningstar multi-asset strategies analyst, in her report. “Both residents and nonresidents will be well served by its low cost and appealing set of investment options.”

Morningstar rates 529 plans for their management, fund partners, oversight, investment offerings, fees, and performance.

Morningstar cited UESP’s “standout oversight” that led to multiple years of fee reductions, including this year’s drop in its Administrative Asset Fee for nine of its 14 investment options to 0.16 percent, and a smoothing of glide paths within the age-based options. The fee of 0.16 percent equates to $1.60 annually on a $1,000 investment.

UESP’s customized investment options appeal to “do-it-yourself investors and the advisors increasingly turning to this plan,” according to Morningstar’s analysis.

“The underlying funds available in the custom investment options, as well as additional stand-alone choices, are a mix of proven strategies,” Larsen wrote.

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. Morningstar does not represent its analyst ratings to be guarantees. Please visit for more information about the analyst ratings, as well as other Morningstar ratings and fund rankings.