By Kim Clark and Tom Vollkommer
October 4, 2016

Filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid—the FAFSA—can be a real pain in the you-know-where. You have to do it in the right order, and avoid some common mistakes, or else you can throw the entire process into a tailspin.

For example, when going to the FAFSA website (found here), common sense says that clicking on the big green button says that says “Start A New FAFSA” would be the first step to, you know, starting a new FAFSA. Wrong! Before starting the procedure of filing for federal aid, you must create an FSA ID (a username and password). Watch as MONEY’s college expert Kim Clark (a.k.a. “the FAFSA Fairy”) walks a clueless high school student through the process.

 

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