Super-rich Democratic congressman Scott Peters of La Jolla, who has touted his efforts to lower federal student loan rates, has invested between $15,000 to $50,000 of his own money in a La Jolla start-up called Winward Academy, LLC, per a personal financial disclosure statement filed with the clerk of the House of Representatives.
Recently opened Winward, according to its website, “is transforming how students master the ACT and SAT, thrive in math class, and shine in their college applications — all to build confidence for life.” The online cram school was founded by Jennifer Winward, a private tutor and teaching professor at UCSD who specializes in college entrance exams.
Tuition at Winward tops out at a sizable $499 for the Game Changer SAT or ACT package. “If you know you want to review every subject for the test and have several months to study, then the Game Changer is perfect for you. You’ll have access to 100 hours of lessons and 5000 practice questions,” says the online course description. A Crunch Time option is available for $249. “If you have just one month until the test and want to maximize your studying, then the Crunch Time package is for you. We’ve picked the 25 most tested lessons and bundled them together, so you can be sure to get the most improvement in the short time you have to review.” The company also pitches “full access” subscriptions to high schools.
Winward began soliciting equity investors for her academy in June 2016, per a filing with the federal Securities & Exchange Commission. Credited as Educational Content Coordinator is Ben Peters, son of the congressman, an alumnus of Francis W. Parker prep and Duke University, his father’s school, both also academic homes to Ben’s sister Ellie. For those not as entitled, Winward says it “donates one Game Changer package for ACT or SAT whenever that same package is purchased. Donations are made to Computers 2 SD Kids, a charity that provides 9000 computers to San Diego students each year.”
Offers Ben Peters, in an online testimonial, “Throughout my time working at Winward Academy, I have been truly able to realize the time, effort, experience, and passion necessary to build a successful company from the ground up. What I have learned will continue to have a positive and lasting impact on my professional development and my career for the rest of my life!”