SEVIS is the Student & Exchange Visitor Information System where information is collected and maintained on all international students and scholars. This information is easily accessible to a number of government agencies. Further information on SEVIS can be found at the Student & Exchange Visitor Program website.
Once you have received your I-20 and paid your I-901 fee – required documents typically needed to submit to the consulate consist of either an I-20 for an F-1 (student) visa; evidence of your ability to pay for your studies and living expenses; and sometimes evidence that you do not intend to become an immigrant to the U.S. You should check to see what the particular requirements are for your home country.
When the Consul is satisfied with your application, you will receive your passport back with a visa stamped in your passport. This stamp allows you to enter the U.S. only when you have your I-20 with you as well. Make sure you keep all your important documents together and with you at all times.