All applicants for a student (F-1) visa must be interviewed. Students are subject to the same law as other temporary visitors, and must convince a consular officer that they truly intend to pursue a course of study and will return to their home country when their studies are over. They must also show they can pay for their education, either from family funds, grants or other sources.
In the course of the interview you will have to submit completed forms and materials, pay the application fee (check the US Embassy website for up-to-date costs), present your passport with at least one blank page to attach the visa to, and provide a passport photo — different size from a UK passport photo.
You will need to furnish evidence of sufficient funds to cover all expenses including fees while in the US, and provide evidence you will be returning to the UK at the end of your studies.
The evidence needed to demonstrate sufficient funds could include bank statements (yours or your parents), scholarship offers, etc. Please note, it does not necessarily mean you have to have a lump sum sitting in the bank.
You simply have to prove, based on account evidence, that you can afford your stay in the US. If your parents are going to assist you, they will have to show statements that demonstrate regular funds will be available.
Perhaps most importantly, you will have to demonstrate you will be returning to the UK. You can do this by demonstrating family links, a home in the UK, and other ties and commitments.
When scheduling visa interviews, all US visa-adjudicating posts now give special consideration to students so they will not miss the opening of the school semester. Many embassies and consulates around the world have opened special windows for students, reducing the wait for interviews. Others, where possible, do not require students to have appointments at all.
PLEASE NOTE: one of the biggest problems, easily avoided, occurs when the name on your forms is different from the name in your passport. Make sure that when you begin the application process you use the name that appears in your passport! It is even a good idea to supply a photocopy of your passport with your university application.
REPEAT: the name on your transcript, SAT/ACT registrations, and your primary university applications must ALL match the name on your passport EXACTLY.