I believe the ti nspire cx-cas is issued to all plebes. They may want a basic calculator for other needs but as far as I understand when the academic year starts all plebes will be equipped with the top of the line from texas instruments.
He may want to keep whatever documents he has made on his nspire in the past 5 years, possibly transfer them to some online storage during the interim then copy them over to his new nspire when it is issued.
You would be correct that the nspire is very different from the other calculators, one of the most popular being the ti-84 plus. The nspire is generations ahead of other calculators, most notably being the "computer algebra system (CAS)" that can solve math unlike any other calculator. Additionally it has some high -level math functions useful for college students, such as derivatives/integrals of an equation.