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I do know LDS families who have preferred their kids to go to BYU (usually BYU-Idaho) but would have 'allowed' a local school too. Going to BYU was hard because it is far away and hard to get to.
Many parents would like their kids at schools where they'll have a higher chance of dating the same sort. Mormons with Mormons, eg. Catholics with a high chance of finding Catholic partners. It's not always about the temporary atmosphere.
Interesting conversation in light of recent events at Ole Miss - but while I’d find it surprising to see a pro confederate rally at a big campus in the northeast, Ole Miss students have also shown their opposition in various ways, seemingly supporting the notion that everyone finds their people no matter the location.