I even knew some college students that looked "down" on buying used books, like you were buying someone's used underwear.
If more professors did this, then the problem would be solved.
For what it's worth, I did not know anyone with this attitude. Everyone bought either used or international versions off of Amazon.
On the other hand, he's excited about finishing his degree, which he has put off for many years now, so if this is what does it for him, it's a small price to pay.... at least that's what I keep telling myself. I suspect that once the excitement of the first couple of semesters of "hey, I'm actually doing this" wears off, he'll be buying used books like the rest of us.