Drowning in Student Debt: Ways for Americans to Deal With What Is Now More than $1.6 Trillion in Loans

Some declare bankruptcy. Some flee overseas. Some grin and bear it. Ok, well, they bear it. Student loan costs are still rising. What is being done?

Student loan debt ballooned 125% in the last 10 years, and the trend isn't showing any signs of stopping.

Except in the Olney section of Philadelphia, that is. That's home of LaSalle University, where school President Colleen Hanycz put a halt to tuition increases after she arrived four years ago. 

Then, she did something else: Hanycz lowered tuition from about $40,000 a year to $28,000.

Next, former First Lady Michelle Obama showed up to speak about the move, which Hanycz said has been a success for the school.

"I know there is not a (university) president in the country not thinking about this," she told NBC10.

There also are millions of Americans drowning in student debt loans who also are thinking about it. 

One in 10 people with student loan debt is currently delinquent in their payments. Some 250,000 people are in bankruptcy thanks to their costly college loans.

The student debt crisis is affecting all walks of American life: moving out of the childhood home, buying a house, buying a car, starting a family. The cost of college has outpaced inflation and wage growth, yet choosing not to go is proven to mean a lifetime of lower wages. Check out this graphic:

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Young Americans are stuck between a rock — a college system without cost controls — and a hard place — the need for a higher degree than the high school diploma.

Some people are choosing bankruptcy to alleviate themselves of the debt. But that comes with credit rating issues.

Even farther — literally — are some willing to go, like Chad Albright.

Without a job and $30,000 in debt, Albright fled the United States 12 years ago. He moved to China first, and now lives in Ukraine.

"I really wish I could come home," Albright said in an interview. "I have friends there. It's my home."

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