For the past 20 years, Beth and Greg Langston have been working with high school students. While Beth’s career has been in education, Greg’s is in business. As the founders of College Flight Plan, they’ve combined their expertise to guide teenagers toward a fulfilling career and life.
Ultimately, the Langston’s help teenagers figure out what their life’s purpose is and what they want to do with their life.
If a teenager is considering the college route, they can ultimately save thousands, if not tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars by figuring this out before they start college. For clarification on how College Flight Plan helps families save money, watch the video or listen to the podcast that’s further down this page.
Who Are Greg & Beth Langston?
Video & Podcast Interview Below
While both Beth and Greg graduated from Purdue University, they pursued different career paths. Through College Flight Plan, they have fused their careers into one that helps teenagers create clarity about their future so that they make intelligent decisions that lead them toward a purpose-driven career and life.
Beth graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor’s in Education. As a result, she has guided hundreds of high school students worldwide to navigate the dreaded college applications essay process with tremendous success.
Greg graduated from Purdue’s Krannert School of Business and pursued an international business career. His career allowed him to mentor hundreds of young professionals while leading businesses in over one billion dollars in revenue. He has led hundreds of young professionals in business and worked with people in over 65 countries.
What Does College Flight Plan Do?
Through College Flight Plan, Beth and Greg help teenagers choose a major that allows them to graduate in four years and have a fulfilling career.
Throughout the College Flight Plan course, the Langston’s help high school age students with the following.
- Figure out what their strengths are and what their weaknesses are.
- Pinpoint what they’re passionate about.
- Recognize what they are naturally gifted to do.
What If College Isn’t the Right Choice?
Some teenagers might decide that college isn’t the right choice for them, and that’s okay. While the purpose of College Flight Plan is to help students plan a college path that will lead them toward life and career success, some students realize that they may want to go a different route.
If a teenager decides that college isn’t the right choice for them, the Langston’s continue to help the student. Rather than mapping out a college plan, the student uses the information that they learn about themselves to map out an alternative lifestyle that helps them pursue their life’s purpose.
Regardless of whether a teenager chooses to proceed directly into college or take an alternative route, the work that students do in the College Flight Plan course is valuable. Some young adults may want to take a gap year or may want to go into a different profession that doesn’t require a college degree. The knowledge and confidence that teenagers develop in the program is incredibly valuable as they move forward into young adulthood.
International Travel & Homeschooling
By the time Greg and Beth’s kids were 13, they had been to 12 schools, homeschooled, and lived in five countries. They all learned foreign language and gained an appreciation for other cultures. In our interview on the HomeSchool ThinkTank Parenting Podcast, Beth mentioned that the Singapore American School had 72 nationalities represented in K through 12.
In Mexico, their kids went to school, but their evenings were filled with translating homework from Spanish to English. Throughout their travels, the Langston’s occasionally homeschooled their children too. For example, when they moved to Australia, the school year is different than in the United Sates, so the homeschooled there.
As the Langston’s teens entered their teenage years, they felt the need to return to the United States.
To start preparing for college.
Returning to the United States
In our interview, Beth shares,
“We thought we needed to get back to the states to start preparing for that application – college application process. We thought we needed to be there by freshman year. But when we came back, we were very disappointed that nobody in their schools were helping them, you know, discover their strengths, weaknesses, giving opportunities to explore different occupations and things. Find their purpose and goals and so forth.“
As an executive, Greg was running corporations and he was provided with hours of this great executive training that helped him gain skills and gave him assessments that improved who he was as a person, his performance as a leader, and as a team player. Greg repeatedly said to Beth, “Why have I had to wait 20 years to learn this?”
They wondered, “Why aren’t we teaching these things to our kids right now? This is when they need to know what they’re good at, what their goals are. And so that’s when we started on our own children as our guinea pigs.”
College Flight Plan Saves Time & Money
While the College Flight Plan course does cost money, in the long run, this is an investment in your child’s future. During our interview, Greg shared some interesting statistics.
As the founder of HomeSchool ThinkTank and as a mother, it certainly had me thinking at a deeper level about my own teenagers’ futures.
Be sure to watch our video interview or listen to the podcast episode here.
The Cost of College
- In State Public College: $40,000 per year on the low end.
- Ivy League College: $80,000 per year on the low end.
Percentage of Students Who Drop Out of College
Here are some statistics from the Education Data Initiative.
- 15.9% of students pursuing a certificate program graduate on time.
- Less than 25% of high school graduates who enroll in 2-year colleges complete a degree in three years.
- Only 5% of students in 2-year colleges graduate on time with a 2-year degree.
- In the United States, the overall dropout rate for undergraduate college students is 40%.
- In four year colleges, 56% of students drop out within four years.
- 30% of the dropout rate comes from college freshman dropping out before their sophomore year.
How Long College Usually Takes for Students Who Graduate
- Only 40% of college students graduate in four years.
- 60% of college students graduate in six years.
Why Does It Take Most Students Six Years to Graduate From College?
It take the majority of college students six years to graduate because they change their majors three times.
The Real Cost of College for Most Students
When you examine the real cost of changing your major three times, there are many costs to consider. Let’s consider this more deeply.
Two extra years of college.
- In State Tuition: $40,000/year x 2 years = $80,000
- Ivy League School: $80,000/year x 2 years = $160,000
Two extra years of student loan debt.
- In State Tuition: $80,000 (2 years tuition) x interest rate over ? years = ???
- Ivy League School: $160,000 (2 years tuition) x interest rate over ? years =???
Two years lost income/earning potential.
- Two Years of Income: Salary per year x two years = ???
Two years lost investment potential.
Two Years of Investing: 10% of income invested at ? interest rate, compounded over a lifetime.
Two Years of Time
What’s this worth? If your young adult (child) is loving college life, maybe it’s great. However, it’s likely that by year five and six of college, both you and your college student are more than ready to move forward in life.
Do the Math
I’m not going to do the math for you, but if your teenager is considering college, I suggest doing the math before they enroll.
The cost of not being clear on your strengths and weaknesses, and not having a purpose in life is high.
Depending on your child’s future earning potential, I believe that the real cost of college will probably total to half a million to one million dollars (or more) over the course of a lifetime.
That’s a lot of money to leave on the table due to a lack of clarity.
Purpose & Meaning for Teenagers & Young Adults
According to Greg Langston, another interesting data point shows that a full 87% of teenagers and young adults have no purpose or meaning in life. This means that our teenagers don’t know what they want out of life or where they are going.
In our interview, Greg says, “Compound that with others who tell kids, ‘You can’t do that,’ and you just throw more gas on that fire.”
Greg continues with, “That’s why it’s so important for students and the parents of those students, whether they’re homeschooling or not, to help the kids figure out what they’re good at.”
Kids are Capable
Greg and Beth believe that teenagers are capable of figuring out what’s important to them and what they’re passionate about. They suggest that parents need to see what their kids are interested in an help them find opportunities to explore that interest.
Beth shares an example about her son. She says that throughout his childhood and teenage years, Beth’s son thought he wanted to go into the medical field. After helping him find the opportunity to go to work with a couple of different surgeons, he realized that wasn’t what he wanted at all. She says, “Thankfully he didn’t waste his time and money going to school all those years to only find out that, Oh, I, this is not what I wanted to study.'” Instead, he went into the world of finance.
How You Can Help Your Teenager Find Their Purpose
The Langston’s have some excellent suggestions that you can do with your kids to help them find their purpose in life. The first thing you’re going to do is help your child create a survey for others complete.
Include the following on the survey.
- Please list three things that I do really well.
- List three things that I do poorly that you think I need to improve upon.
- How do I add value to other people?
- What majors or professions do you think I should study?
- You and your child can brainstorm other questions that they would find helpful in this survey.
Eight People Who Know Your Child Well
Identify eight people who are vested in your teenager. Your child should trust these individuals and they should be people who will give strong, honest, feedback.
Give each individual the survey and ask them to complete it anonymously. It is important that your child doesn’t know who made a statement because this can skew their perception of the feedback.
The results of your survey will help provide a clear picture for your teenager from people who care about your child.
While working as an executive in the C-suite, Greg did various types of surveys and 360 self-assessments. As a result, he believes that people shouldn’t wait until mid-life to intentionally learn about themselves at a deeper level.
The benefits of the self-knowledge gained through exercises like this and the College Flight Plan course can impact your child’s entire life.
As part of the College Flight Plan course, Greg and Beth help the student go through a self-discovery process that helps them identify their own core values and what is important to them.
Self-Discovery for Teens: Identify Core Values
Greg shares one example of how he and Beth help students identify their core values.
Envision the cross-section of a tree. Each part of the tree represents important attributes that the student is clarifying for themselves.
- Root System: Symbolizes values.
- Tree Trunk: Symbolizes your purpose.
- Branches: Symbolize your objectives and goals.
As you can see from this example, your purpose, objectives, and goals all the stem from the strength of your values. Greg shares,
“That’s why we believe it’s very important that values are chosen by the student – to see what values they won’t negotiate on. That they will answer questions based upon those values when they’re not with their parents or with their guardians – and we’ll make the decisions accordingly, and that will support their purpose and their objectives following that.”
Greg continues with the following.
“In order to really get clear on what your purpose is, you need to have that 360 assessment in terms of your strengths and weaknesses. You then take the Kolbe Assessment, which is an assessment that identifies how you instinctively problem solve.“
Greg mentions that he’s taken the Kolbe Assessment three times over a 25 year period and that his score has not changed by a single point. He says that your conation, how you naturally take action and solve problems, does not change. While your IQ and the way you interact with other people, socially, cognitively, and effectively can change as you mature, the way you instinctively problem solve remains the same.
Distinct Natural Abilities (DNA)
Through their program, College Flight Plan, the Langston’s help teenagers identify their Distinct Natural Abilities, abbreviated as DNA.
During this self-discovery process, Greg & Beth help students identify their values and what they do really well. As a result of this process, students are able to put their best foot forward by pursuing a life that is in alignment with their strengths and values.
In addition to understanding their strengths, students in the College Flight Plan program also identify their weaknesses. As a result, they can intentionally improve areas where improvement is needed.
By discovering their Distinct Natural Abilities, teenagers are better equipped to make intelligent and thoughtful choices that will help them move forward in life with purpose.
Another key component of the College Flight Plan program is accountability. As the student goes through this program they choose an accountability partner who will help keep them on track. It’s rare that students choose a friend. Most of the time students choose someone such as a parent, relative, or respected leader to hold them accountable.
The Langston’s help the students understand the importance of choosing an accountability partner who will give them the cold unvarnished truth. They want teenagers to choose someone who will tell them what they do well and what they don’t do well.
Greg shares that when someone is not held accountable by others that the chance of them succeeding is in the single digits. However, when you share a goal with your friends and whole ecosystem, that the success rate soars to 95%.
Accountability Partner Statistics
According to Greg, there is a stark difference in success rates as a person is held accountable.
- 5% if you do it yourself
- 65% if you share with others
- 95% if you designate an accountability partner who is responsible to hold you accountable and you allow them to hold you accountable.
The staggering difference in success rates between those who have an accountability partner and those who don’t is why the Langston’s insist that students have an accountability partner.
Greg also stresses that the partner needs to be someone who personally knows the student. This positive social pressure can help students succeed.
As a result of identifying their core values and distinct natural abilities, students are better equipped to craft a purpose statement.
What is a purpose statement?
It’s basically a statement that declares what a person wants to do that’s bigger than themselves and that they are passionate about.
Students in the College Flight Plan program aren’t just pulling a statement out of the air. The deep self-discovery process enables teenagers to establish aspirational goals for four different success elements.
Greg notes that while a student is in school the success element of wealth is educational accomplishment. During the college years, educational accomplishment is a student’s job. In the future, wealth will be a measure of job performance.
The College Flight Plan Program
As a mother, I can clearly see the value in College Flight Plan, but I wondered how to get my daughter on board? I asked Greg and Beth for suggestions.
They said that the first meeting is for the parents and the student. They assure the student that this really about them. It’s not about somebody else. He tells the student, “We’re going to uncover and peel back the onion as to what you do really, really well.”
He assures the student that this is a step-by-step process. The videos are all short two and a half minute segments that they can do on their phone. Afterward, they’ll go to their workbook, which is also mobile optimized.
The College Flight Plan program helps a teenager figure out what they’re uniquely capable of doing.
Greg says, that in the first meeting, students are sort of like “Yeah, yeah, whatever.” Then the second meeting it’s like, “Oh, this is kind of interesting.” Then they get their feedback from the eight trusted advisors and they’re saying, “Oh, this is what I’m doing really well. Oh man, they think I’m good at this. I think I’m good at this.” This is when teenagers start internalizing the College Flight Plan process.
Teenagers with Clarity
At this point, students begin to have a transformation. At the end of the process, the student presents what they’ve learned about themselves to their parents.
“It is so cool to be in that room with them or on a Zoom call, because you can see the transformation, not only in the student, but in the relationship between the student and the parent.
The student has so much more clarity and knowing their values and their strengths and their weaknesses and their purpose and their major. The parents are like, “Wow.”
Then the parents see the student’s competence in clearly understanding and articulating what makes them unique. Kids need that when they start to go through the application process and writing those essays. The student feels they have a little bit more control over their lives because they have actionable plans and goals.
The parents are sometimes in tears at that point saying, ‘I’ve known you for 16 years. And I didn’t know this about you. This is so great.’
College Flight Plan helps lessen the tension of deciding what to do next in life.“*Some changes were made for readability.
Listen to Our Interview on the HomeSchool ThinkTank Parenting Podcast.
You can listen to this interview with Beth & Greg nearly anywhere that podcasts are played. This is episode #160. However, we recommend listening on Apple Podcasts or Spotify. You can learn more about the HomeSchool ThinkTank Parenting Podcast here.
Greg Continues With…
“We need to allow our kids to have that freedom to be themselves. For example, we have some families where there’s a history of lawyers in the family, the father’s a lawyer, the mom’s a lawyer, the uncle’s a lawyer. And so it’s like, Emma has to be a lawyer.
And Emma goes through our process and says, ‘Listen, I’m smart, I’m capable. But I would suck at being a lawyer. I don’t want to be a lawyer. I want to be an architect. Here are the reasons why I want to be an architect. I can make a very good living and I can be passionate about it. Part of my purpose is to be an architect.’
And that is very freeing for both sides of the of the coin, because the parents are terrified that the student’s not going to do well and is going to come home. You know, as we say, we want College Flight Plan to fly out of the home and flying into college and then fly into a career.
We don’t want them to fly back into our basement. We want our kids to flourish and to grow and to provide for themselves and to create a legacy that makes you and them proud.
Going through the self discovery, regardless of what you do, is extremely important.*A few changes were made for readability.
Don’t Wait for Teachers & Other Leaders…
While this is a homeschooling website, we certainly have visitors whose children are in school, so this is important. Don’t wait for schools, teachers, and other leaders to do this with your kids. They simply don’t have time.
At the time of this interview, Greg shared that there are an average of 424 students in U.S. high schools per high school counselor. The recommendation is 200 students per counselor. In California, where the Langston’s reside, there are 900 students per high school counselor.
With these numbers, it’s clear that students are not going to get the help they need in school. Ultimately, it’s up to parents to help their children transition into adulthood. If you want help with this, Beth and Greg can expertly help your teenager move forward in life with clarity and purpose.
How to Help Your Child Clarify Their Values & Purpose
By simply doing the steps that the Langston’s shared in this interview, you can begin guiding your teenager toward a future with more clarity. If you want to help your child more, then we suggest signing up for Beth and Greg’s College Flight Plan program.
This program is an investment in your child that could ultimately help your family save a substantial amount of money on extra years of college tuition. Likewise, if your teen chooses not to go to college, he or she can proceed with more clarity as they transition into adulthood.