Yes, that is a dilemma.
When I went to uni the first course in statistics required one book at around $200. However the profs had agreed to use the same book in the three follow-up statistics courses as well. So if you were going for a bachelor in statistics, you just bought that one book for all your statistics courses.
Similar story in physics, at least for the first two-three courses. The math courses were a bit more fractured for some reason, though in two of the courses the textbook was written by the prof and provided free as PDF. I got them printed and bound at the uni press for like $15 each.
However my book expenses was nothing compared to what they had to put up with in other areas, such as psychology or pedagogy. They had to buy $200 books just for a chapter or two.