Anyone who doubts the value of the simple checklist hasn’t read Malcolm Gladwell’s book Blink or Atul Gawande’s The Checklist Manifesto. In Blink, Gladwell references Gawande’s book, which describes the success doctors have had using checklists in operating rooms. Yes, the humble checklist, scrupulously followed, saves lives. Simple yet enormously helpful, checklists provide a track to move you steadily toward your goal, freeing your mind of the details that can bog you down if you expend energy trying to remember them all.
If you’re a student or you know one—and who doesn’t?—be sure to explore the helpful checklists the Federal Student Aid Office of the Department of Education has developed. There are checklists for traditional students, adult students, parents; there’s even a last-minute checklist for those who’ve been accepted to college but haven’t yet applied for financial aid.
There are checklists for the elementary school, middle school, and high school set—on the high school level the lists are separate for each grade. And there’s a college preparation checklist, as well as a graphic that visually explains the financial aid process.
So what are you waiting for? Click here to find the checklists that will be most helpful to you; then write in the comments below which ones you are planning to use.