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Best 529 plans for the long haul

Robe- and mortar-bedecked students during the graduation at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.

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May 29 is 529 day, and with graduation season upon us, it's the perfect time to take a look at the best 529 college savings plans.

With nearly every state and the District of Columbia offering at least one 529 plan, investors have dozens of choices, and assets in the plans increased 9.1 percent in 2014 to $249.7 billion, according to College Savings Plan Network. Earnings on contributions are not taxable, nor are withdrawals to pay for qualified higher education expenses.

It's important to make sure that the expenses you are covering actually qualify under your 529 plan. (There are special rules for off-campus housing, for example.) You are also limited in how often you can adjust your asset allocation, and some plans come with significant fees. But the tax advantages and the inexorable rise in college costs make 529 plans an attractive option for college savers.

Read More529 balances are growing, but so are college costs

The following are the top 529 savings plans over the past 10 years that do not require state residency to invest, ranked by

-—By Kelley Holland, special to
Posted 28 May 2015

John Kely | The Washington Post | Getty Images