Going "away" to college has always been the dominant image for students in my mind (I'm from the U.S). Even a university only a few hours away would more than likely require a student to move into a dormitory or apartment. In fact, this has become so standard and expected of students in the U.S, that students living at home usually have some outstanding or rare reason to do so.
In Japan, at least Tokyo however, living at home while attending school can be very normal. The reason for this I suspect is, the trains are so efficient, that even someone living far on the outskirts of Tokyo may take the trains 2 or even 3 hours to school in the city each day. Money, security, convenience, and having laundry and cooking done for you could be the appeal here, and it makes even more sense if a student is intending on living with parents even after they start working (which is also not uncommon at all).