Foreign Students in the United States: Policies and Legislation [Updated January 24, 2003] [open pdf - 100KB]
From the Summary: "The September 11 terrorist attacks by foreign nationals --- including several terrorists on student visas --- have prompted a series of questions about foreign students in the United States and the extent to which the U.S. government monitors their admission and presence in this country. [...] Potential foreign students, as well as all aliens, must satisfy Department of State (DOS) consular officers abroad and INS [Immigration and Naturalization Service] inspectors upon entry to the United States that they are not ineligible for visas under the so-called 'grounds for inadmissibility' of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which include security and terrorist concerns. In FY1979, the total number of foreign student and cultural exchange visas issued by DOS consular officers was 224,030 and comprised 4% of all nonimmigrant visas issued. In 1996, Congress enacted a provision that established a foreign student monitoring system and required educational institutions to participate as a condition of continued approval to enroll foreign students."
CRS Report for Congress, RL31146