College textbooks aren't cheap: Last year, students spent an average of $579 on 10 required class materials.
To trim your book bill, you have a few options: Rent or buy them second-hand using sites like Amazon's Book Rental, Chegg and Half.com; buy them in the off-season, before demand kicks in and prices increase; or consider free options like borrowing, sharing or downloading them.
Rising NYU senior Eric Hu, who is on track to pay his $200,000 tuition bill before graduation, saves hundreds of dollars a semester by cutting out this expense altogether. "I've found that most professors will send print-outs or PDFs," he tells CNBC Make It. "I don't even bother to buy any [books] off the list anymore, and that's the best advice I can give to incoming freshmen."