The first catalog contained a statement for parents and guardians, presenting a philosophy to which Mr. Ferris adhered while at the helm of the institution.
He advised: "The problem of selecting a school for a son, daughter, or friend is by no means easy . . . . The school cannot in itself do everything for a young man or young woman. It can only contribute its share of influence. The principal of the school studies every student, advises every student, looks after the welfare of every student, and when he finds that he is powerless to do him good, he informs his parent or guardian. This makes the Ferris Industrial a safe place for the young person who is to receive training in usefulness. When parents ask for special supervision, the request is granted."
Most of the students were of the age of today's college students, but some were older. Ferris had some correspondence with a parent who wanted to send a 13-year old boy to the campus. With reservation Ferris agreed to enroll him.