Policy & Instructions


Applicant must meet the following qualifications to be considered.

  • 1.1 Residence within the city limits of the city of El Cerrito or the city of Richmond.
  • 1.2 High school graduate.
  • 1.3 Acceptance by the University of California or Leland Stanford Jr University as a full-time student.
  • 1.4 Financial need (must have assistance to continue studies).
  • 1.5 Two address verification forms from neighbors attesting to address of residence of applicants.
  • 1.6 One or more letters of recommendation which address the following:
    • (1) CHARACTER
    • (2) DEDICATION


Must be made on forms supplied by the trust fund and the applicant must agree to an interview. The following must accompany the application:

  • 2.1 Address forms completed by at least two neighbors who know of their own knowledge that the applicant lives at said address in the city of Richmond or the city of El Cerrito.
  • 2.2 At least one letter of recommendation addressing the traits listed in 1.6 above.
  • 2.3 A copy of the applicant’s high school transcript including the first semester of the twelfth grade. If a candidate is currently in college, a transcript of work completed in college and a high school transcript are required.
  • 2.4 A copy of the letter of acceptance from the university. An application may be submitted without this letter however no action will be taken until an acceptance letter is submitted.
  • 2.5 The financial statement must include a parent’s report of income. Assets and liabilities and a student’s report which includes personal finances and a projected university budget. The projected budget should include income and projected expenditures. All financial information submitted by the parent or student is treated in a confidential manner by the Spencer Scholarship Trustees.


Applicants will first be considered upon the application and accompanying documents. Those who are accepted for further consideration will be interviewed. Final selection and grant will be based upon a combination of the application (including the student resume and student essay), interview and financial need.


  • 4.1 If the scholarship is for $600 or more per year, the applicant will receive nine equal monthly payments starting on or about September 1 of each year. If the scholarship award is less than $600, the applicant will receive the entire award in one payment on or about September 1 each year. Payments will start after satisfactory completion of 4.2 through 4.6 below.
  • 4.2 All recipients must submit a “Spencer Trust Request for Funds” form prior to the start of each quarter or semester to receive funds. Each student must indicate intent to enroll in 12 units or more.
  • 4.3 For new recipients, payments will start after verification of acceptance by a University of California campus or Stanford University and a “request for funds” form have been received by the Spencer Trustees.
  • 4.4 For continuing recipients, payments will start for each school year, after an official transcript of the previous year’s work and a “Request for Funds” form have been received by the Spencer Trustees. The official transcript must verify at least 12 units each quarter or semester with a grade point average of 2.0 or better for each quarter or semester. The official transcript and “Request for Funds” form are due to the Spencer Trustees by September 1.
  • 4.5 Any deviation from 4.2, 4.3, or 4.1 must be approved by the trustees and justified in writing in order to receive continuing funds.
  • 4.6 In the event studies must be interrupted, a grantee may freeze and restart the grant by securing approval of the trustees and returning any funds that have been received and as yet unearned.


The Spencer Trust Fund is administered by three trustees who are representatives of Mechanics Bank, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, and the legal community. The trustees are selected according to the stipulations of the Captain John W. And Jessie R. Spencer Trust. The fund is managed by Mechanics Bank of Richmond.


The trustees may change the above policy at will and without prior notice.


Scholarship payments may only be used for tuition and related expenses as defined in internal revenue code 117(c) so as to be excludable from taxable income.


May 1 of each year.

Please, if possible, submit your application electronically using the forms on this web site. If you are unable to do so, you may submit the application in hard copy by mailing it to:

Michelle Anderson
Spencer Scholarship
Mechanics Bank Imt
1111 Civic Drive, Suite 333
Walnut Creek, CA 94596


READ THE CURRENT POLICY STATEMENT for granting Spencer Scholarship Funds before filling out the application.

RESIDENCE: Applicants must live in city of Richmond or El Cerrito.

COLLEGES: Only applicants who are accepted and attend Stanford University or a campus of the University of California are eligible.

FINANCIAL STATEMENT: Parents or legal guardians are required to ​attest to the accuracy of the family financial information required in the application. There is a separate form that must be printed, signed, scanned and uploaded.

STUDENT ESSAY: In your own words tell why you want a scholarship and, more importantly, what you intend to do with your college education. Mention any special qualifications you may have for your chosen fields of study. List accomplishments in school and outside of school which show your capacity for leadership, creativity and contributions to your community. Type no more than the equivalent of two 8 ½ x 11 pages.

RESUME: Complete the form showing your academic record, volunteer work, employment, and extracurricular activities.

TRANSCRIPTS AND LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATIONS: See 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3 under "Application", above.

If you provide the application in hard copy instead of filling out the electronic documents, PLEASE TYPE OR PRINT all documents for clarity.


Submit the Spencer application packet in this order.

  • 1. ____ Scholarship application, pages 1 and 2, with photo.
  • 2. ____ Student resume, pages 3 and 4.
  • 3. ____ Family and student financial statement, pages 5 and 6.
  • 4. ____ Parent/Guardian verification of financial statement form
  • 5. ____ GPA verification form
  • 6. ____ Two address verification forms for residence in Richmond or El Cerrito, pages 7 and 8.
  • 7. ____ One or more letters of recommendation.
  • 8. ____ Transcript(s).
  • 9. ____ Acceptance letter from university.
  • 10. ____ Student essay. Limit to two pages and must be typed.