Scotus Central Catholic is located in Columbus, Nebraska. Columbus is a middle-sized town of about 21,000 in central Nebraska. Scotus is the only Catholic High School in Columbus, and is the largest Catholic secondary school outside of Omaha or Lincoln in Nebraska. Scotus Central Catholic has a very faith filled faculty with extraordinary parental involvement. Scotus has a student to teacher ratio of 16:1. The average class size is 20 students; this allows students to receive an outstanding education. On average 97-100% percent of Scotus graduates attend college or some form of further education.

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The purpose of Catholic education is to provide young people with a strong religious foundation upon which to build the rest of their lives. Scotus Central Catholic forms their students in traditional values to build their lives on the message of the Gospel by proclaiming the “good news” in word and action. In addition, the education program prepares students to compete in an increasingly technological society with a comprehensive curriculum as well as a wide variety of activities.

Academic Achievement

Scotus Central Catholic is an exceptionally dedicated institution with the highest expectations for its staff and students. There are excellent opportunities for individuals to participate in class discussions and projects. Students are challenged academically and have the benefit of personal attention from the instructors. The overall students/teacher ration is 14:1 and is an ideal situation for work and study for both students and teachers. Scotus is a great place to be, live and grow!

Social Life

The opportunity to participate in a wide variety of social and athletic activities helps students grow socially and physically. The involement with priests, teachers, parents and community members further forms the foundation in students for personal interaction, goals, team building, time management and use of community resources. Great friendships are built, and students come to know the experience of the best Christian care created in community. This is called the “Scotus Family.”

Financial Costs

Scotus is funded from three sources. One-third of the cost to keep Scotus in existence comes from an investment from the three Catholic parishes in the community. Each of the parishes gives direct financial support to Scotus based on the number of families in each parish. Another portion of the cost comes from development activities and volunteer work. This ranges from asking persons to remember Scotus in their wills and estates to Scotus Mothers’ dinners and boosters’ burger bashes. Indeed, it is the expectation for all parents to contribute volunteer time to raise funds for the school. The last third of the cost consists of the tuition paid directly by the families who attend the school.


For more than thirteen decades, Scotus Central Catholic has proudly served the needs of Catholic education in the Columbus, Nebraska area. First established by Franciscan Sisters on November 4, 1878 and given the name, St. Francis Academy in 1884, the school initially served primary through 10th grades. By 1910, the school offered 12 years of study and in 1915 the first organized Alumni Association for the school was established. Ten years later (1925), St. Bonaventure parish purchased St. Francis Academy and the school’s name was changed to St. Bonaventure School. It was a free school serving both elementary and high school grades. St. Bonaventure High School received accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools in 1941 and in 1952 the elementary classes were moved to a new grade school building. The science wing was constructed in 1956, Memorial Hall was opened in 1958 and the northwest addition for art, music and shop was added in 1963. The last class of seniors graduated from St. Bonaventure H.S. in 1965.

On November 25, 1964 a corporation was formed to establish a central Catholic high school supported by nine Columbus area parishes. A new 20 multi-purpose classroom and administrative facility was constructed and July 1, 1965, the school’s name became Scotus Central Catholic High School. St. Bonaventure parish joined with eight other Columbus area parishes to form Scotus Central Catholic on July 1, 1965. The name for the high school was chosen to commemorate the Franciscan scholar, John Duns Scotus, and in tribute to the Franciscan tradition of the school.

Today, Scotus is supported directly by the three parishes in Columbus and serves approximately 352 students in grades 7-12. The school also counts nearly 3800 active alumni. Scotus offers a disciplined, safe and supportive environment. A dress and grooming code is enforced and several active parent and friend booster clubs assist the school with financial as well as volunteer support. Mass is celebrated daily in the chapel, each class period begins with prayer and Scotus students contribute more than 7,000 hours of community service each year through the school’s “Living the Faith” program.

John Duns Scotus (Scotus is Latin for “the Scot”) Born 1266, Duns, Scotland into the family of Duns Entered the Franciscan Order at age 15; Sent to Oxford University for higher studies in 1288 Ordained to the priesthood on March 17, 1291; Acquired Masters Degree in 1305 from the University of Paris Professor at Oxford University, University of Paris and University of Cologne In depth of thought, he was unsurpassed by any of his contemporaries Wrote theological works, which earned him titles: Subtle Doctor–for the acuteness of his mind, Greatest Doctor–for the greatness of his works; Marian Doctor–for his defense of the Immaculate Conception Died in Cologne at age of 42 on November 8, 1308 Declared “Blessed” by Pope John Paul II, 1993 Feastday is celebrated on November 8th

Mission Statement Scotus Central Catholic High School assures all students the opportunity to receive a faith-based Catholic education through academic excellence and diverse extracurricular activities.

Accreditation Scotus Central Catholic High School is accredited by the North Central Association of College and Secondary Schools dating continuously from the year 1941. Scotus Central Catholic Junior and Senior High School is also accredited by the State of Nebraska Department of Education and is on the list of Class A accredited schools as established by the members of the State Accreditation Committee. Scotus Central Catholic is also a member in good standing of the Secondary School Department of the National Catholic Education Association.

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