The College for Girls was founded in 1890 and in 1907 the School moved to its final home on 22 acres in Dutchess County, New York. In 1907 the school had an enrollment of 120 students and a faculty of 29. Originally named The Finishing School for Girls, the course of study was six years (four years of high school and two years of higher study).In the early 20th century the school discontinued high school courses and became a junior college only. The two-year curriculum continued until the mid 1970s, when College began awarding four-year Bachelor's degrees. Generations of young women from prominent American families attended The College over its 90 year history.
Majors of study included art, fashion design, music, modern languages, literature, history, dance and domestic science. Activities at Bennett included gymnastics, riding, golf, tennis, field hockey and tobogganing.
At the time of its closing, enrollment was around 300 students.
With the growing popularity of coeducation in the 1970s, The College found itself struggling to survive. An attempt to upgrade facilities and convert to a four-year college in the mid 1970s left the already troubled college in financial distress. In 1977 the trustees attempted to reach a collaboration agreement with Briarcliff College, a junior women's college in nearby Briarcliff Manor which was also struggling with low enrollment. The plan did not work, however, and Briarcliff instead merged with Pace University in 1977 after both Briarcliff and The College for Girls entered bankruptcy.
In 1978 the college closed its doors for good.