I am currently finishing my degree in Political Science up at Augustana College. A few words on my ratings. The faculty are friendly and easy to find. The on-campus accommodations are generally clean and well maintained and the campus is beautiful. One thing to note on residence is that Augustana uses school owned apartments and houses that surround the campus to house juniors. There are advantages to this in that you are close to campus, don't have to pay bills, and gain a measure of independence. The downsides to these houses are the cost is $5400-$6600 for the year whereas a house for 4 people off campus usually will cost each person about $4000-4500 depending on rent and utility use. That being said most of these houses that the college own are in a condition you would expect from being used to house students with little beyond necessary maintenance.
Academically most classes were relatively easy and very few classes were very challenging or significantly expanded my horizons. The school has a HUGE emphasis on pre-professional programs and students will experience pressure to go pre-med/pre-vet if they are a biology or chemistry major or pre-law for political science etc... The vaunted tradition of liberal arts is a catchy slogan but besides a series of required, and generally poorly executed, freshman courses designed to introduce students to the liberal arts many non-humanities majors get very little exposure to anything outside of their major. As a consequence of this focus on pre-professional degrees many of the humanities subjects, which form the basis for liberal arts, are being cut because of a lack of enrollment.
Many other reviews mention the high school like environment and cliques. I have found that many people do act this way however if one is mature enough it is very easy to avoid these people and find a group of friends that you actually like. The biggest reminder of a high school like atmosphere is the oppressive administration.
The administration of the college is in the increasingly common habit of dictating the terms of student decisions. From bags getting searched when entering dorms at night to trying to send campus security to sorority and fraternity formals the school desires to involve itself in your decisions. There is little room at augie to make mistakes without the administration hauling you in and fining you heavily (if you go to Augustana know their preferred punishment is monetary). If you are in a student group of fraternity or sorority and someone individually violates a rule expect the entire group to be suspect.
Socially the college is pretty fun. Parties are dominated by various Greek fraternities and most of the year with the exception of spring pledging there is almost always an open party on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Campus security and the local police are relaxed when it comes to busting drunk students and parties. If you do not drink you will have to make your own fun as the college does provide activities, shows, movies, etc... quite often though they usually end pretty early. Outside of the campus there are things to do but they require familiarity with the area and searching. I have heard the quad cities described as an "entertainment desert" and though a bit harsh it isn't far off. The downtown district of Rock Island is a street of bars, Moline is fairly similar. There is little public transportation of great convenience and though it is possible to get around on the bus if you aren't 21 or don't have a car you will probably spend most of your time on campus at night. Greek Life is strong with 7 fraternities and 6 sororities (with a possible 7th coming in 2012). As a member of a fraternity I would suggest it as it is the easiest way to enter the social world (and hey you might actually develop as a person as well). Pledging was probably the best decision I made at Augustana in terms of overall enjoyment. In terms of total social scene the parties won't compare to state schools but the attitude that the school has towards partying is relaxed, the drinking is on par with any large party school, and for those interested in Greek Life the local system allows for a much more autonomous experience than in national systems.
Overall impressions: I had a great time in college and made some great friends and had some incredible times that I hope never come to light if I run for political office. My world view was not shattered and I found the academics disappointing most of the time. There are a few excellent professors (just because they are hard does not mean you shouldn't take their classes). The professors on average are intelligent and caring but lack certain intangibles that really make a great experience. If I had to do it all again I would have worked a little harder in high school and put a little more effort in researching schools. As it stands though I lived, I loved, I partied (a little too much), and I broke a few rules.If you have money, want to get a degree, aren't the most intellectually curious person out there, and are from the Chicago suburbs Augustana is a great school. If you are looking to challenge your world-view and get first rate scholarly instruction and a true liberal arts education perhaps you should apply to some other schools as well.