Kevin, due to West Chester Borough zoning restrictions, you may have to break that group up. Another option is West Goshen Township, part of which is virtually on campus. They allow 5 unrelated persons per rental unit and are less restrictive than West Chester Borough. My office manages a LOT of properties in the area. We can likely help you find something that works.
First of all, multi-family rental units only permit "FOUR unrelated" persons on a lease unless the property is zoned for boarding. It's best to go through your local Real Estate agent (like me) and they can help you through the process. If these 5 or 6 persons are students, word of mouth is recommended and checking online newspaper classifieds and Craiglist as well. Good Luck!
Heck no! Start now. They rent as fast as they become available. Student Permit Rentals are hard to come by. Check all local Real Estate offices, signs, and news paper. Been a Realtor for 25 years, and these are still hard to come by
Contact local realty offices for available properties, or work with an agent; check local print media for by owner, always verify ownership before exchanging any money/personal information; word of mouth, etc.