This article is from the FAQ, by with numerous contributions by others.
You should be able to regain status through departure and re-entering using
a valid F-1 visa and Form I-20 (student copy) validated by your foreign
student adviser if you can convince the INS of the following:
1) the status violation resulted from circumstances beyond your control or
that failure to receive reinstatement would result in extreme hardship
2) you currently are pursuing or intend to pursue a full course of study at
the school listed on the I-20;
3) you have not engaged in unauthorized employment; and
4) you are not otherwise deportable.