For the fourth consecutive year, Hope College has enrolled a record number of students.

The college has enrolled 3,141 students this fall, the second time in as many years that enrollment has topped 3,100. Last year the college enrolled 3,112 students, and Hope has set records for overall enrollment in seven of the past eight years.

Dr. James Bekkering, vice president for admissions at Hope, said the numbers are the result of not only strong interest among prospective students, but also the good experience that students have once they arrive at the college.

"The two bookends of enrollment management are enrollment and retention," he said. "The faculty have done a wonderful job of working with students, and retention is good."

At the same time, Bekkering said, the admissions year just past was a good year for the college.

"This was just a wonderful group of young people and parents to work with," he said. "They were seriously interested in Hope from the get-go and sustained that interest right through the decision to enroll."

With 775 first-time students, the new class is the third-largest in the college's history. The overall student body also includes Hope's largest two incoming classes - 811 in the fall of 2003, and 781 last year.

The student body consists of 1,223 men and 1,918 women from 43 states and territories and 32 foreign countries.

The enrollment by class, with last year's class in parentheses, is: freshmen, 800 (806); sophomores, 785 (803); juniors, 735 (643); seniors, 750 (784); and special students, 71 (76).

Students transferring to Hope from other colleges and universities total 67, compared with 60 in 2004. There are 124 students in off-campus programs, compared to 106 last year.

The largest representation is from Michigan with 2,236 students, followed by: Illinois, 379; Indiana, 103; Ohio, 70; New York, 48; Wisconsin, 40; Minnesota, 29; California, 20; Iowa, 19; New Jersey, 17; Pennsylvania, 16; Missouri, 14; Virginia, 13; Colorado, 12; and Texas, 10.

Foreign countries represented in the student body include: Albania, Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, El Salvador, Ethiopia, France, Germany, Haiti, India, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Kosovo, Mexico, Nepal, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Sudan, the Sultanate of Oman, Sweden, Trinidad, the United Kingdom, Ukraine, Uruguay and Vietnam.

Hope College was chartered in 1866 and is affiliated with the Reformed Church in America (RCA). The college offers courses in 83 majors leading to a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.