Born in Amarillo, Texas to Korean-American parents, Cho spent most of her childhood years in Dallas and her late teenage years in Minnesota together with a younger brother. In High School her "parents put me in dance classes, martial arts, sports, painting, music, cello, all sorts of things". Growing up in an area with very few ethnic minorities led to sentiments of being an outsider. It wasn't until she moved to the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign where she majored in psychology that she connected with her Asian American background. It was here that she attended her first drama classes and developed an interest in the profession, noting "theater was the first time I felt like I could open up and be someone I could only imagine to be". In 2004, Cho entered and won the Miss Korea Chicago competition, giving her the opportunity to take part in the Miss Korea Pageant in Seoul, South Korea. The latter proved to be a disappointing experience as she was urged to lose weight and make other adjustments to her appearance. After graduating in 2007 she spent the summer of that year in Kenya on a two-month humanitarian trip. Upon her return, she decided to move to Los Angeles where she worked odd jobs while trying to pursue a career in acting.
Graduated from Apple Valley Senior High School in Apple Valley, Minnesota with the Class of 2003.
Graduated from the University Of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor's Degree in psychology in 2007.