The Evanston College for Ladies, in Evanston, Illinois, was a female-only Methodist-affiliated institution closely linked with Northwestern University. The college was established in 1871 as a boarding house "in a building at Chicago Avenue between Greenwood and Lake Streets, formerly occupied by the North-Western Female College (no connection to the University). The 236 students in attendance included Sarah Rebecca Roland, later Northwestern University’s first female graduate" The first dean of the college was Frances Willard, and the college was run by female trustees and an all-female Board of Directors.
While the college provided mainly room and board, it also offered a Bachelor of Arts degree that combined classes from Northwestern and the College. The institution also operated a college preparatory program open to both boys and girls. Evanston College for Ladies merged with Northwestern University in 1873. Upon merging with Northwestern University, Willard became Northwestern's first Dean of Women.