With the exception of Canadians, international students must apply for a student visa to study in the United States.
Canadian students only need a passport and a I-20 or DS-2019.
After receiving your I-20 or DS-2019:
Receipt of a I-20 or DS-2019 does not guarantee issuance of a visa. Receipt of an F-1 or J-1 visa does not guarantee entry into the U.S. The Customs and Border Protection officers will determine admissibility after reviewing immigration documents.
Some students applying to U.S. universities report being asked by a third party to pay an I-20 processing fee. This is a fraudulent. There is no I-20 fee.
Proceed with caution when enlisting a third-party application service. It may not be honest and is most likely not an authorized representative of the university.
If you are in the U.S. on visa status other than F-1, view the requirements, documentation and procedures for changing to an F-1 visa.