"I think this year alone it's probably been around $400," the freshman said.
Matthew Lacey, also a USC freshman, said he, too, had to adjust his budget to accommodate expensive textbooks.
"Books are definitely a big deal around here. They're all so very expensive," Lacey said.
Both Ostiller and Lacey found out about a new website, myBookCrate.com, which allowed them to buy and sell books with their fellow students.
"It's been great because it cuts out the middle man and it just allows me to work with other students who are just trying to get textbooks for cheap," Lacey said.
It's been available to the campus since December 2012 and works in partnership with the university's student government.
"You can buy and sell books to USC students, so you don't have to pay for shipping and handling, whereas you do for other online sources, and then you just meet students conveniently on campus," Ostiller said.
The website was started by a student, Erik Bogaard.
"It's all automated, so students list the books they want to buy and sell, and we instantly connect them to meet on campus and make the transaction," Bogaard said. "We have a private messaging center, which allows students to send and receive electronic messages in order to arrange a time and location to meet."
Bogaard said students can also send and receive electronic payments using their smartphones once they have actually physically received the book.