The school was founded in 1880 by Mathilde Salomon, becoming the first French non-denominational high school for young women, two months before the vote of the "Camille Sée" law establishing public secondary education for young women, and three years before the opening of the Lycée Fenelon. The founders, grouped in an association called "Société pour la propagation de l'instruction parmi les femmes", included Paul Bert (1833–1886), former Minister for Education, and a militant for Public Education. The school became co-educational in 1969.
The school is only one of three non-denominational private schools in Paris.
Collège Sévigné offers classes from kindergarten to the Baccalaureat.