There is still a strong preference for East Coast kids to stay in the East, Midwest kids to stay in the Midwest, etc. If UChicago is #3 among tippy-top east coast prep schools that's actually super good since HYPM as well as Columbia and Penn are all in the East. Harvard's breakdown is nearly 40% New-England/Mid-Atlantic, 10% Midwest. Yale: 41% NE/MA, 12% Midwest. MIT 30% NE/MA, 11% Midwest. Stanford doesn't breakdown any region outside its own state, while Princeton doesn't seem to provide any sort of geographic distribution at all (suggesting that it might be heavily skewed to the NE/MA regions). Throwing in Penn and Columbia for good measure, we can see the same disparity (if not more so) - those two schools draw overwhelmingly from the New England/Mid-Atlantic regions relative to the Midwest.
Looking at UChicago you see a different picture: about one-third comes from New-England and Mid-Atlantic, but just over a quarter from the Midwest (class of 2020 stats). In other words, UChicago is attracting more kids from the East than it is from the Midwest, and certainly more than the tippy-tops in the East are attracting top Midwesterners. Two reasons might be population density differences (although how much that impacts the top of the HS achievement curve I can't say) or cultural differences in preferring private college vs. the state flagship (again, not sure how much that affects the top of the curve). If either of these factors is, indeed, relevant, we should see similar geographic diversity represented by other Midwest elite schools: NU, WUSTL, and UND, for instance. Thing is - we don't. Neither NU nor WUSTL provides a geographic breakdown at all (again, suggesting heavy concentrations of their local region?), while UND shows a little over a third from the Midwest and 38% from East AND South (combined).
This seems to speak particularly well of UChicago. It seems to draw top kids from a wider geographic area than either top schools in the East or Midwest. Is it the most geographically diverse of all the elites? That's a question for another poster. :)
What's interesting are the kids we know with the perfect 4.0 uwGPA / 36 ACT who DON'T get into Stanford or Harvard simply because they aren't an athletic or other hook. My niece isn't top band GPA at her school but awaiting a LL from an Ivy and has been told by the coach that she's getting in (we'll see about that one . . . ). Her subject tests were solid and her ACT was pretty good but it wasn't quite at the mid 50% range for UChicago's class of 2020 (or that Ivy's either). This wouldn't fly as much at UChicago which is not a D1 school and where you simply have to be able to keep up with the rigors of the curriculum (and GPA, course rigor and test scores tend to be highly correlated with that preparation). What does this all mean? Well, given the heavy recruitment for D1 athletics at some Ivy's or at Stanford, if you are NOT in a sport, you have to have super high test scores and GPA. Perhaps that's what's going on at @Regina2017's school. Of course, if it's Lab she's talking about, a whole bunch of those kids get out of Hyde Park -
and IL - to begin with.
Harvard's mid-range ACT is the same as UChicago's for the class of 2020; its SAT's are a tad higher. However, at that range @Carino is correct - they are looking for other stuff than GPA and test scores.
I think it's great that someone at @Regina2017's school decided to break out of his/her "band" and go with the best fit. Doubt it's all that shocking to most of us with kids in "first band" GPA who are at UChicago this year LOL. Hopefully that 2nd'bander will return to high school as an enthusiastic recruiter for UChicago and encourage some more original thought among the up-and-coming seniors ;)
Half the finalists receive one of the three types of scholarships - college sponsored, corporate sponsored, or one-time NMSC $2,500. The instructions should list the specific percentage breakdown but it might be 1/3 for each (give or take).
Don't worry about specifying a major if he's unsure. IIRC that information is there to assist corporate sponsors in selecting recipients (some might be looking to support specific majors).
Your son has plenty of time to put down his first choice college so it's ok to remain undecided on that till he finds out that his NMF status is confirmed. @snowfairy137 is correct that if by the notification date he has specified a school that is not a sponsor, he will not be eligible for a college sponsored award, but may be eligible for one of the other two.