For example: If a student suffered a mental health crisis in their freshman year of high school resulting in a low GPA (3.3 to 3.5) for that year, but had a 3.9-4.0 UW in sophomore and junior year, would that student's application immediately be discarded for a possible cumulative UW GPA of a 3.78-3.81 due to a strict cutoff? The question is geared towards lower cumulative GPAs.
For the last year 2019-2020, Stanford's cut off seems to be 3.75 because 95.4% of admits had a GPA of 4.00 and 3.6% had a GPA of 3.75-3.99. And only 0.9% had a GPA between 3.5-3.74 which translates to 19 students. This information was taken from Schedule C of the Common Data Set. Since MIT is more rigorous with stats than Stanford, I would make an educated guess that their cutoff is similar or higher. So say 3.75 for both schools.
Since you are targeting a final UGPA of 3.78-3.81 I don't see your GPA as a problem for admission if all your other stats and requirements meet the threshold.
Best of luck to you.
It most likely will not be. You're showing growth throughout your high school career which is positive. In the section that asks if there is anything else you'd like them to know try to explain yourself. Also, I'm not sure if this is too late for you but try to start a club or get involved with something relating to what happened to you. This will show that you're taking your experiences and trying to help others with them. Hope this helps!
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