Spending $300 on a textbook for most classes is an absolute joke. It is a racket driven by the sellers, of course, and the schools who have no interest in reducing costs and by professors who sell their own books with meaningless updates made to force new purchases.
But how many updates are necessary, for example, for most math classes up to and including calculus? And do we really need a new book on Shakespeare in the English department? Very, very few classes in the first 2-3 years of college would ever need updates. And why have paper copies of anything?
Here’s one idea that may help, though I worry about it getting perverted by biased writers as happened with Wikipedia: Open-Source Textbooks Gain in Push for College Affordability – ABC News