LANSING – The Michigan Education Savings Program produced the second-best investment performance among 49 direct-sold Section 529 college savings plans sponsored by states nationwide in 2012, according to

MESP also achieved the best three-year performance among 43 plans ranked by and the seventh-best five-year performance among 42 plans the Web site analyzed.

“While we’re pleased with this recognition, it’s even more gratifying to know that the plan’s investment performance benefited thousands of families who entrust MESP to help them save for college,” said Michael Noone, president of TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing Inc., which manages the plan on behalf of the state of Michigan. is an independent company that aims to help consumers and professional advisers better understand the challenge of paying higher education costs. It describes its rankings as potential resources for investors when selecting which 529 plans are right for them.

Direct-sold 529 plans (named after Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code, which created these types of savings plans) are those that investors can enroll in without using a broker. prepares its rankings by comparing a subset of portfolios from each 529 savings plan. It selects portfolios based on their mix of stocks, bonds and money market funds, which allows for an apples-to-apples comparison in seven asset-allocation categories: 100 percent equity, 80 percent equity, 60 percent equity, 40 percent equity, 20 percent equity, 100 percent fixed and 100 percent short term. The plan’s overall ranking is determined by the average of its percentile ranking in the seven categories.

The full rankings are available here:

TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing Inc. notes that past performance is no guarantee of future results.

MESP is administered by the Michigan Department of Treasury, which chose TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing Inc. to manage the plan in November 2000. Since then, MESP has helped more than 105,000 families invest more than $3 billion toward college. TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing Inc. is one of the nation’s largest 529 program managers and currently manages 11 state programs, including Michigan’s.

MESP is one of three Michigan Section 529 plans, all of which offer Michigan taxpayers a state income tax deduction on contributions and potential tax-free growth on any earnings if account proceeds are used to pay for qualified expenses. MESP can be used at any eligible college, university or trade school in the nation for a variety of qualified expenses, including tuition, mandatory equipment, fees, certain room and board costs and books. Limitations apply. See the MESP Disclosure Booklet for details.

To learn more about MESP, visit or contact us at (877) 861-6377.


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