I just got out of the US Consulate after spending an increasingly apprehensive two and a half hours waiting for my turn to speak with an officer. I don't know if today was typical, but it seemed like almost everybody's F1 visa applications were rejected. The most common cause was that the candidate is a potential immigrant. The other one, and this surprised me, was that the consular officer thought that the student wouldn't do well in their graduate studies. If you failed a subject in undergrad, or you had low test scores, you didn't get a visa. A couple of people were asked to retake GRE's and TOEFL's before their next appointment !
So, I finally get up in front of this stern-looking lady who asks me "you went to the US to study, ended up working there, and now you want to go back and study. why?". Two years of writing application essays had prepared me for a 30-second pitch, ending with "that why I need an MBA, and not just any MBA but a good MBA". She goes "i see you've chosen one of the best". and before I could respond:
You're easy. Visa Granted.