People over-think phenomenon to an astonishing degree, and this well-meaning article is a prime example. First of all, being a college student in no way implies any real intelligence as very few US undergraduate degrees require much in the way of intellect. Furthermore there's a self-selection mechanism at work: the least-bright students will be most likely to embrace Trump.
Secondly, all social primate species play "follow the leader" and we're at our most primitive when we feel insecure. The 2008 global financial meltdown ultimately led to the tsunami of populism/nationalism that swept the globe in 2016 and thereafter, ushering in Brexit and Trump and Duterte and Bolsonaro and Babis and Modi and too many other authoritarian imbeciles to count. This is not an illness or a syndrome; it's a fundamental aspect of human hardwiring. When we're anxious our already-sparse capacity for sort-of-thinking goes out the window and we look for a "strong" leader to "save" us. Trump supporters are invariably stupid and ignorant and emotionally inadequate; hence Trump to them does not appear as an infantile moron but rather as a "strong leader" who will "save" them. These are the same people who voted for Brexit, voted for Le Pen (who narrowly missed winning the first round of the last French presidential election), and who reliably vote for self-harm by means of tyranny. All in the belief that this will "save" them.
Lastly we need to realize that our innate human tendency to rush into the arms of the cynical and incompetent is massively exacerbated by the fact we utilize representative democracy, a system in which the foolish and ignorant vote for the cynical and incompetent. Until we devise a more adequate way to govern ourselves, we'll remain vulnerable to our own worst instincts.