Applying for graduate schools (Masters) in ECE. Mostly top 10s and top 20s. Cumulative GPA: 3.35 GPA for the last 3 years: 3.85 GRE: Q170 (98% percentile) , V167 (97% percentile) Nice research experience. I also got an award for an innovative product I designed on the side, an honors mention in a national invention competition sponsored by the US Patent and Trademark Office. I also performed impressively in a national undergraduate math competition (Putnam, which I got 3 problems right) As for letter of recommendations, I got 2 very strong ones, and 1 decently strong one (I think). The reason my cumulative GPA is low is due to a semester in freshman year which I messed up due to a medical issue. I have documentation for this and it has long been resolved. I took a 6 years break, and for the last 3 years I got a 3.85. So that bad semester is from 9 years ago. My SOP is strong, basically detailing what I did in those time and what I want to do in the future. I've also contacted a few professors at the schools/ I want to get into, and some has agreed to meet me in the coming weeks. Overall, I think my application is strong except for the semester from 9 years ago. How badly do you think it's hurt me? I did say I have documentation for it and the issue has long been resolved in my application.