I have a 3.2 GPA as a Finance major in undergrad. Unfortunatley, my GPA started off well and went down in my Junior/Senior year (and not the other way around)
Is so low that I should address in my optional essays when applying to M7 schools (Kellogg/Booth/CBS), where the average GPA is closer to a 3.5? I also re-took calculus as part of an alternative transcript to offset some of the damage.
I used the optional essay because of a personal tragedy my last semester in college, which led to a significantly worse performance than my previous semesters. In my case the difference was so stark that i had to use the optional. A 3.2 by itself, especially from a top school, is not a dealbreaker at the non-HBS/Stanford schools if the other parts of the app are good. If it's a drop because you took harder classes those last 2 years, I wouldn't use the optional, but if it was one particulaly bad semester or some othe extenuating circumstance, then I would use it. Ultimately you have to make a personal judgment call.