We now do a lot of our scholarships via email, and despite our warnings, students still do this occasionally. Here’s the problem: if a scholarship program is accepting submissions via email, that means the email address you’re supposed to send to is probably sitting on a web page somewhere for you to look at. If it’s on a public web page, that means spammers will probably end up taking the address and sending thousands of spam messages to it, and it’ll eventually get thousands of viruses sent to it as well. If that’s the case, the only safe thing for the scholarship provider to do is simply delete all attachments – all of them. And if you attached your essay as an attachment, because it’s impossible to tell what’s a virus and what’s not. Then your essay is gone.
If you absolutely must send your essay as an attachment (I don’t know why that would ever be so, but just in case), email the committee first and let them know your email with essay attached is coming in a separate email that you’ll send in five minutes or so. That way, they’ll know when it arrives that it isn’t a virus.