I'll try to keep my anecdotal story short:
I graduated in 2006 with my bachelors in electrical engineering, when my freshman year state university tuition was around $3K annually (I know, pretty cheap by today's standards). During my last year, the tuition went up to around $5K, and last I heard its around $10K. That is a pretty big jump in tuition costs in only a decade, but even then I still think $10K is manageable without taking out massive loans.
At 16 I started working, started saving, not necessarily for college, but just because I thought you should. By the time I was 18, I had around $15-20K in the bank. I was just working at a local grocery store, but I made sure I wasn't doing piddly 8-10 hours a week work shifts, but I tried to work at least 20 hours a week, usually around 30. It's high school, kids have the time, the classes are not that stressful, and I think all teens should get some early work experience in.
So for starters on my opinion, teenage kids (and likewise parents to teach them) need to get out there when they can and work wherever they can. I don't want to hear stories of how hard it is to find a job (or even how hard high school is while working, really, it isn't at all), at that age, even nowadays there is still some job out there to earn money. Do it now while you don't have to worry about rent living with your parents, and actually start saving now.
What I had saved at 18, I was good enough to go, but even then I started looking into all scholarship options. Now I'm not sure how it is today, but back then I was awarded at least one scholarship for just applying (not many people knew about it, and it was open to everyone), and another for doing a short interview (which there were only 3 applicants!) and was selected. For the first two years I had an extra $2,000 a year in scholarships to spend on books or whatever else. It may not be as lucrative today, but you won't know if you don't try. Quick fact, a Ctrl+F of that article brings up 63 loan instances, but 0 scholarship mentions.
And finally, yes, it is an option to live at home with your parents, which was how I was able to save even more money while still working 25-40 hours a week while going to college (40 hours wasn't my choice though). If its only a 10-20 mile drive, it would still be much cheaper if you have the option to save more money even accounting for gas. If your intended school is farther than that, consider an alternative that is closer. Who cares if you live with your mom and / or dad until you are 22, you'll be able to move out when you are ready with more funds than those who craved independence at a cost of much higher debt.
The points the article bring up are valid, the system is pushing a lifestyle on impressionable teens that were not given proper parental guidance, and kids are sold on living their dreams with their bachelors in tow. Costs have gone up more than they should, for a qualification that is become less and less optional. There is just more complaining in the article than there are solutions given, placing more of the emphasis on what the system can do for them, rather than giving valuable advice for teens to better themselves in the somewhat broken situation. I feel both positions are equally important.
Plus, I know its Rolling Stone, but quoting vodka guzzling and weed peddling sources is a bit unsavory, just saying. Sorry for the long post, but to be fair it was a long article to read.