Thus, the usual tactic of the wrongdoer caught with both hands in the cookie jar and crumbs all over his chin: Propose a voluntary (read: meaningless) code of conduct.
In other words, as soon as it will no longer fly to say that you weren't doing anything wrong, propose a toothless "code" of mush that says "and we won't do it any longer." From the linked AP article:
The Coalition for Educational Success, a Washington, D.C.-based group that represents career colleges serving 350,000 students at nearly 500 campuses, announced the Standards of Responsible Conduct, but won't release the complete code until this summer. The industry group said it will cover areas ranging from standard disclosures of tuition costs and job placement rates to more transparent financial aid policies.
Managing director Penny Lee said the standards will provide a "new level of accountability."
"We know concerns have been raised and we take them very seriously," she said. "This is a significant step for the sector."
The announcement comes as another industry group battles the U.S. Department of Education in federal court in a bid to block new regulations of for-profit higher education institutions. The industry has lobbied heavily in Washington against a proposed "gainful employment" rule that could limit schools' access to federal financial aid if graduates' debt levels are too high or too few students repay loans.