What country are the students from? Were the bank statements copies or originals? Are the statements from local banks? Foreign students will often have a substantial financial backing. I can think of no reason why a landlord can not accept the total payment at once. One point you will have to get across in the plainest way possible is that the only ones that can occupy the rental are the ones on the lease. No visitors or other guest. Be sure not to spend the money as soon as you get it. Otherwise, if you need to evict them you will not be able to refund the rent balance. One last thing, you may want to jack up the deposit because of the X factor in renting to tenants with little background to check on.