From the article -- "Tuitions now are twice what they were 25 years ago".
Hmm, I started at the University of Texas almost 25 years ago. Tuition has gone up by a factor of *10* since then.
(Seriously -- it was about $400 per semester back then, and now it's over $4000/semester now.)
Back then, I put myself through college. No loans. Not sure that kids could do that now
They are likely referring to inflation adjusted dollars, not absolute amounts, because you can't actually compare a dollar value from 25 years ago to a dollar value today. Those numbers just aren't equivalent. To compare them you have to include inflation.
You can't go home again, unless you set $HOME.